Monday, October 8, 2012

Wooly Booly

Yesterday my friend and neighbor Virginia invited me to check out the Sheep Farm & Fiber Tour.  We only had time to visit two farms, so  we headed to the two closest sites. First up was Barn Quilt Farm, which has lovely barn quilts on each of its buildings.  This one was my favorite - with maple leaves which honored the owner's Canadian roots.

Barn Quilt Farm is unusual because it is a  10.5 acre farm  completely within the heart of the city of Rochester.  Developments sprouted up around it, but it has continuously operated as a farm so farming has been grandfathered in.
A delightful family purchased the farm last winter and is diving into their farm dream.  They have their own llamas and also board llamas for other people.
They also have a few alpacas --this is Zipster.  He is so  cute!! I am smitten --now I really want an alpaca...
The new family added chickens - and built the most beautiful chicken coop!  Look at these fancy nesting boxes!  The newly-laid egg rolls out  the back of the box for easy collection by the farmers.
The colorful barn quilt on the Chicken Coop.
Here is Virginia with one of the huge fluffy, Angora rabbits. Barn Quilt  Farm has  diverse fiber  livestock.

Their pride and joy seems to be the  sheep, a small flock of Romeldale CVM (California Variegated Mutant) sheep, an extremely rare breed with wool that is  excellent for hand spinners.  I just loved these stocky, wooly, badger-faced sheep.
We had so much fun meeting this family and  exploring their  beautiful farm!
Next we went to the Ellison Sheep Farm in Zumbrota. Nancy Ellison is  sort of a legend among regional textile artists. The farm is very old and she has installed a tiny fiber arts gallery in the barn silo - this is the view looking up inside the silo.
In addition to raising Godtland and Icelandic sheep,  goats, and geese. Nancy teaches spinning and weaving and sells many kinds of spinning wheels and looms from her  barn shop. Virginia tested out a wheel - and is now re-inspired to take up spinning again.
Nancy's talented daughter Elsa Jo creates charming felted characters and animals.  The faces are amazing. I love this felted Santa with a raccoon on his back!
I purchased this darling felted black-faced sheep with a crescent moon blanket.
Our final stop was a new shop in Zumbrota, Bee-lighted, which sells  textile art supplies and sells the work of local textile artists. I succumbed to buying this cute felted hat, garnished with vintage trims, made by an artist in Chatfield.   Something tells me this hat will be my signature look this winter.

It was so much fun visiting these farms with Virginia. Now I have a rekindled yen to acquire some sheep...or goats...or maybe an alpaca...and learn to spin and dye and felt and knit!

1 comment:

katiegirl said...

Looks like a great tour! I definitely think Squash Blossom needs sheep! Or maybe Alpacas... That felted Santa is so cute.