Meet the Sheep

Meet the Sheep is our annual spring open house event. That was last weekend. Rusty already shared his story but here is mine.

I rely heavily on Farm Club to make this event a success.

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First was getting pet-able sheep into pens. This is Jazz who is a big pet and has twins, one of whom I’m going to keep and is now named Jasmine.

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Amy, Mary, and Sumi ready for visitors.

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We had vendors. Colleen, with Fiber Confections.

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I offered space to Farm Club members this year. Gynna brought knit caps and other goods. Here is her website.

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Brenda has sheep-shaped soap and other items. Here is her Etsy store.

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Jackie with Sheep to Shop brought a new item–plant boxes made of felt!

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This is another felted piece using Jacob wool.

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Carol of 2NFrom  brought hats and these fabulous new pouches. After Farm Club members saw this there were only two of the sheep pouches left.

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Many visitors come just to look at sheep. But there are other things happening as well.

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Rigid heddle demo by Lisa.

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Blending Board demo by Roy (of Clemes & Clemes who makes the blending boards as well as carders, etc)

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Great Wheel demo by Deborah. By the way, this Great Wheel lives at my house and I have no room for it. It is for sale but I don’t have it listed on the website yet. Contact me if you’re interested.

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Laura demonstrated inkle weaving.

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Alison sketched sheep off and on — in between spinning — and left her finished product with me at the end of the day.

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Julie is the person who many people look forward to seeing year after year. She brought her dyeing demonstration, but also…

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…bunnies. Oh boy, were those bunnies a hit!

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Julie also brought a couple of Karakul lambs and an Angora kid. They all had plenty of attention.

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I can’t believe I got through the day with hardly any sheep photos (although I did spend most of the time in the shop and when I got out I tried to get photos of all the other things going on). That’s Jade who is our best pet sheep ever.

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And this is my bottle baby who found a new mom to take him home.

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This is most of the Farm Club crew who made this possible. Thanks, everyone!

Fibershed Brainstorming

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.IMG_8979When I asked how many alpacas there are, Mary said between 150 and 200. They roam the hills on the ranch, accompanied by guardian dogs.IMG_8949This is one of the many ranch dogs that include guardian and herding dogs. We were told that this one is only 8 months old.IMG_8937Our meeting was in the greenhouse located near the field where the bucks live.IMG_8938This guy seemed pretty friendly.Twirl yarnBefore we started the meeting we admired each others fiber products. This is one of the Twirl yarns produced by Mary.IMG_8956This 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.Colleen's hatThis is a felted hat made by Colleen Simon using my Jacob fiber.IMG_8957Here is Jackie showing a newly carded batt…Jackie's felt…and this is a piece she felted from the wool of Vicki, one of my Jacob sheep.IMG_8954We 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!goat kidWhile 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.Dog and kidOne of the dogs was feeling left out.Rebecca and kidEven Rebecca found some goat snuggling time.