In a biodynamic context, the sheep provide weeding & lawnmowing services, in addition to soil rejuvenation & invasive plant mediation. They eat down blackberry leaves in an area meant for future pasture, while providing a layer of manure & mulch. Placed one week before the rain, this gave the dry, depleted land a chance to regenerate grasses. With further consulting we linked Littorai with some primitive Shetland sheep breeders so they could continue using livestock in conjunction with grape growing, as per biodynamic specifications.
At Heidrun Meadery in Pt Reyes, CA, its not grapes but bees that produce a fermented drink-- mead. With Heidrun's mix of grasslands, olive orchard, & flower fields the bees remain quite happy. During the heavy growth season of February to April, the sheep took on the job a tractor & weedwacker ordinarily would, readily mowing down grass as tall as them, taking care to prune the olive trees without stripping the bark as they went, fertilizing & leaving the soil better than when they found it.
Working at an apple orchard just west of Sebastopol, CA, the sheep clear & maintain the orchard, eating down poison oak & blackberry leaves that would otherwise need to be cut away by hand. They maintain aisles between the rows, clear around the base of the trees, and prune the leaves of the apple trees to an even 5' off the ground without touching the apples on the trees. Delicate, precise work.
The first job for the first 7 Ouessant sheep was a small vineyard, along with garden area at Green Valley CSA, near Graton, CA. The sheep ate down grasses & weeds in the vineyard rows that otherwise would grow up to 8' high & take hours of weedwacking to control, leaving the vines & root stock untouched. They cleared overgrown garden beds in a matter of 20-30 minutes that would have taken 2-3 days of farm labor (as noted by one of the astounded & relieved farmers).