Yesterday I went to a meeting to discuss how to better use our Fibershed Marketplace and to find out what’s going on within our Fibershed. Part of the fun of the meeting was gathering at the Napa ranch of one of our members, Mary Pettis-Sarley.When I asked how many alpacas there are, Mary said between 150 and 200. They roam the hills on the ranch, accompanied by guardian dogs.This is one of the many ranch dogs that include guardian and herding dogs. We were told that this one is only 8 months old.Our meeting was in the greenhouse located near the field where the bucks live.This guy seemed pretty friendly.Before we started the meeting we admired each others fiber products. This is one of the Twirl yarns produced by Mary.This is what I brought to share–sheepskins, buttons, yarn, and shawls from my Jacob sheep. The new Timm Ranch yarn is at the lower left.This is a felted hat made by Colleen Simon using my Jacob fiber.Here is Jackie showing a newly carded batt……and this is a piece she felted from the wool of Vicki, one of my Jacob sheep.We were able to see the recently produced Wool and Fine Fiber Book. Each producer has a spread in which samples of their fiber is attached. These books will be circulated to designers and manufacturers who want to find out what kinds of fiber are available locally, how to contact the producers, and to learn how these fibers might be used in end products. This was an amazing undertaking by Fibershed.
Speaking of amazing things, we learned about the “projects” that Fibershed founder, Rebecca Burgess, has underway. I say “projects” in quotation marks because really these are major undertakings and far beyond the scope of anything that I ever attempt. Rebecca is not only writing another book, but is working with the Wendell Berry Farming Center on hemp efforts in Kentucky, an initiative in California to legalize the growing of hemp for fiber use, research that is underway on waterless wool washing, and the carbon research project in which we can all participate by submitting soil samples from our farms. Whew!While hearing about all this we were also doing what Fibershed producers do best, eating and baby animal snuggling. This is a two-day old kid who needs some TLC.One of the dogs was feeling left out.Even Rebecca found some goat snuggling time.