Spring is the busiest time of year on our farm. The sheep have once again grown into another full fleece. It is time to "shear". Shearing Day, February 26th this year, is the one day of the year we open the farm to guests. We have adults and children alike "flocking" the grounds. Some come to buy fleeces right off the sheep, getting to choose color, hand, or maybe just connection with the individual sheep the fleece came from. Others come because they have never seen such a thing. We hire a professional shearer. He comes prepared for the onslaught of questions and onlookers. Last year and returning this year, the Emerson Waldorf 3rd grade class will be guests of the day. Emerson Waldorf makes farming and gardening and textiles (knitting/crochet) part of the 3rd grade curriculum; boys and girls alike! They buy a fleece, take it back with them, wash, card, and spin it! It is beautiful to see these kids so enthusiastic and curious. If your not familiar with the school I encourage you to visit their web site. Whether you have children or not the site, in particular the slide show, is worth seeing. We begin the day early and finish bent over most of the time! The work from here is far from done. I'll be challenged with bags and bags of wool that must be sorted and processed. Some of the wool will be spun into yarn, some processed into roving so folks can spin or felt. Some wool is processed for our ever popular Eco-Friendly Wool Dryer Balls. Some fleeces will remain "raw fleece" for purchase as they are. Each year we learn so much from our sheep. Do you know how susceptible the wool is to nutrition and environment? That's one reason we are so proud when our wool wins ribbons or receives compliments! We had a very sick ewe last year. We almost lost her but with lots of attention she pulled thru. What happened though is something called wool "break" and the follicles literally "break" off. One mere illustration of the influence health has on the wool.
Shearing Day on the farm is certainly a big event and something we must plan for. Probably our biggest time on the farm is lambing. Our ewe's will soon deliver many wee ones.
From shearing day until June, it's pretty much non stop. Lambs everywhere! Feeling sorry for us? You shouldn't. As busy as it is I will continue to say it's my favorite time on the farm. As I've mentioned in previous blogs...as a spring day comes to a close, you'll often find me sitting in a lawn chair, in the middle of the pasture in awe of the the MOST cuteness anyone could imagine. As so, again on the farm....I get lost in all it's glory!