Stonehaven Farm - About Our Farm
We moved to Eastern Oregon in 2001, having left our beautiful but rocky land in New Hampshire. Our farm name was coined in NH as a "haven for stones". We did clear pastureland there, but most of the property remained wooded because of the rough terrain. Our sheep and horses had limited grazing and we were never able to grow our own hay as we do now.
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We feel that we have found paradise here in this beautiful valley and a "haven from stones"! The deep rich topsoil in Pine Valley supports lush green pastures, where our sheep and horses graze during the warm seasons of the year.

We intensively graze the sheep, subdividing the pastures with Electonet fencing into small paddocks. The sheep are moved every two days to new grazing, never letting the length of the grasses they eat become shorter than 4" to 5". This helps keep the sheep free of intestinal parasites, since the worm larvae stay nearer the soil levels.

These rotations also help the grass regrow more quickly since the remaining leaves are still able to concentrate energy, and the shaded soil is more able to retain moisture in hot summer weather.

In any given year, our sheep are separated into three groups: ewes/lambs/ old ladies, unbred ewes, and rams/wethers. The unbred ewe group is comparable to the sum of the other two: we treasure our old girls and breed lightly.

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Until 2009, we flood-irrigated the fields from the system of creeks and ditches that flow through our valley. We went out each day with shovel in hand to move water where we needed it.
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Knee-deep in cool mountain water, we used tarps to flood water onto the pastures. Fine work for a hot summer day!

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For the past two seasons, we have irrigated the hayfields with the same snowmelt water that used to flow through our ditches, but delivered through a pipeline to several wheel-line systems. All gravity fed and without any pumps!
In late June, we cut the hay that feeds our (usually 100 or so) sheep and our draft horses. We put up approximately 80 tons of hay each year, but all this in a single cutting. The pasture regrowth is used for grazing horses and cattle in the late summer; we usually do not have enough late-season irrigation water to grow a second cutting.
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Three barns full of winter hay feels wonderful! When the deep snows of winter arrive, our farm enters a new cycle; we serve hay twice a day to our sheep and horses, a labor of love. Life is quiet and (almost) relaxed.