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.
Here’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.
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
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.
Hold still. It’s all for your own good.
Happy Feet, happy sheep
Ruthanne and her freshly trimmed hooves
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.
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.
Our shearer, Jim, gives quick work to one of the ewes. Check it out here: Shearing Day
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. 😉
Henry Theodore Lambert Fulton, Farmhand
A big hello and welcome to the farm to Henry Theodore Lambert Fulton. Henry started work as a farm hand for us on February 23rd. He’s got a bit of a learning curve ahead before he even gets considered for the Shepherd in Training Program. For now we’ll start him counting sheep (it’s not as easy as everyone thinks).
Just back from ISBA’s annual Shepherd’s Clinic . It was a great conference. Lots of classes on genetics, parasite control (who would think worms were so fascinating), grazing plans, pasture management, and best of all “Teaching your Sheep to Obey the Shepherd.” Renowned sheep whisperer, Ben Bartlett, DVM, shared his 30 years of experience in handling sheep at his Log Cabin Livestock Farm in Traunik, MI. Leave it to a yooper to figure out the “stare of death” and the various ways to ask politely without having to yell and scream. The best… “When in doubt, just stand there and do nothing,” the critters will figure it out that you want them to go this way rather than that way. 😉 Lots of fun too, meeting fellow shepherds from across the region.