It’s a cacophonous rite of spring at The FARM Institute. Each year the arrival of the new lambs brings a raucous bleating chorus announcing the season. The new lambs gambol about in a large indoor pen, climb on bales of hay, and spontaneously leap straight up into the air, seemingly on the most random of whims.
With a firm command of “Up, up, sheep,” the entire flock dashes in a near stampede toward the barn door that leads to their outside pen.
Most of the sheep are a breed known as Cotswold, chosen for their hardiness.
“They have dense coats of long, coarse, curly wool,” according to The FARM Institute website, “and can easily withstand cold, wind, and rain. For those whose memories extend back to pre-polar fleece days, wool was the fabric that kept you warm when it was wet. Cotswolds can forage for themselves and have a strong mothering instinct, ensuring a high survival rate for their lambs.”
The FARM Institute, in the Katama section of Edgartown, is an educational non-profit institution working to connect people of all ages to agriculture through a working farm, according to its mission.