Shearing Time

A little snow this year.

A little snow this year.

Here we go again. Shearing time. For those of you who’ve been asking we’ll have our list of available fleeces up by the end of the month–give or take a few snow storms. It’s been a long cold, snowy winter and we’re ready to for spring and lambing season.

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Farm Report ~ End of summer 2013

Fresh pasture in June

Fresh pasture in June

Well, it’s better than last year. We’ve been saying that a few times this summer. Still could use some good slow rains. The drought broke for a few months this spring and summer but it’s still not enough. Will be feeding hay in September. Our garden went to hell in hand basket. A few yellow finn potatoes, some squash and onions. Tomatoes, hah! We did dig up a small basket of nice garlic. It doesn’t look like we’ll be canning much this year. Our blueberries returned big time! It’s the most impressive crop in years. We have about 60 pints in the freezer, pies and pastries and pancakes and sauces—free radicals beware! Friends, family and the many farm workers all got a good share as well and we still left berries on the bushes. The wasps and bugs, birds and critters have free reign now. We brought two new rams into the flock this summer. Clyde is a colored pure bred Corriedale ram lamb we purchased from our friends and mentors, Dick and Gretchen, at White Fish Bay Farm in Door County. We picked up a couple of pretty ewe lambs as well. Leo is a four year old registered CVM ram from Sheepy Thyme Farm in Michigan. He’s a moorit badger with a nice light to dark colored fleece. They both should provide some nice genetic diversity back into our flock. And we’ve had lots of family coming and going all summer long with great happenings in their lives. So, there you are; better than last year.

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All Sold Out

Three generations of Strawberry Ridge farmers.

Three generations of Strawberry Ridge farmers.

Another Shepherds Harvest Festival has come and gone; and, once again, we sold all of our fleece. It was a very hectic Saturday morning! Nearly half of the fleece on hand had already been reserved for pick-up that morning. Before official opening of the Festival four more fleece were reserved. By 12:30 everything but three lamb pelts and five balls of roving were left. What a crazy morning.

Thank you to all of our regulars for your continued support of our small farm, and a big hello and thanks to those of you who found us for the first time this year. Word of mouth goes a long way these days. Our fleece have been shipped to all parts of the country with spinners and fiber artists buying them sight unseen. Thank you for sharing your stories of delight when you see our fleece for the first time. Lots of hard work went into making all that fiber.

We are now focused on raising our lamb crop and keeping the pastures healthy. Hopefully the drought will let up and we can be more at ease this summer. Stay in touch. Our next batch of fleece will be ready sometime in March 2014.

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We’re off to the Shepherd’s Harvest Festival

IMG_0008Here’s our list of available fleece. We will also have roving and processed sheep pelts available for sale. We think we’ll be in our usual spot. Look for us in Building B at the Washington County Fairgrounds. Those of you who have reserved fleece for pick-up at the event should find us before noon on Saturday. We look forward to seeing everyone again. We have lots of stories to share of the long, long winter we and our flock have experienced this year. Thanks for all of your support.

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Roving for sale

Roving for sale--White, Grey and Black

Last year, after our final skirting, we decided to have the bits and pieces we cleaned from the whole fleece turned into roving. Such beautiful fleece. Such beautiful roving. We have a quantity of white, grey and black roving available for sale at $2.00/ ounce. Click on the image to see the detail

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Kind words

Here's Nelle - Reserve Champion overall last year. We'll have 2 of her fleece for sale this year.

We do enjoy hearing from our customers.

“We’ve never had a bad fleece from you, and between the two of us over the past couple of years we’ve bought fleeces of Lucinda, Ophelia, Olivia, Gemma, and Harriet (My friend has self-imposed a ban on any more dark gray fleece this year), and some of my other friends have bought others, so we have faith. :-)

My friend is really enjoying spinning Gemma’s fleece, by the way – the singles are almost iridescent. I bought some of Ophelia’s fleece from him last week, and am looking forward to spinning it. Thanks”

Thank you. We do appreciate the testimonials. Requests for fleece reservations are starting to come in. Interested? Drop us an email and tell us what you are looking for.

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Sheep Spa Weekends– January Special

Spa Weekends are the featured social event, mid-January here at the farm. Members of the flock all take their turns having a quiet moment with the shepherds for a little manicure, try out some new coats, condition checking and a peek at the fleece. Nothing like making sure everyone has happy feet before lambing season comes along.

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Pasture Wars!

A knock down, drag out, battle of wisdom!
Will Joan prevail among this cavalcade of cattle ranchers? Come and see.

April 21st, Solway Town Hall — $14.00 Admission.

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We’re on You Tube

Our shearer, Jim, gives quick work to one of the ewes. Check it out here: Shearing Day

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Chutes & Ladders

Teaching the flock a new game today. I think they won. More chutes than ladders. We purchased a chute system from Premier to better handle the sheep. It required a bit of reconfiguring of our stalls along with the new chutes. The ewes and shepherds were thoroughly exhausted by the game. Maybe after a few more nights running them through the chutes everyone can get the hang of it in time for shearing. 😉

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