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News & Notes – Black Sheep Farm https://www.blacksheepfarmva.com Sat, 22 Dec 2018 19:29:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8.1 Merino Farm Field Day https://www.blacksheepfarmva.com/merino-farm-field-day/ Sat, 22 Dec 2018 19:25:12 +0000 https://www.blacksheepfarmva.com/?p=323 On November 3, 2018, Black Sheep Farm was honored to welcome Solitude Wool and fiber enthusiasts for a day on the farm, with something for everyone. A knitting class in the log kitchen. A spinning class in the sun room. A felting class and a dyeing demonstration in the shed. Sheep shearing demonstrations and new lambs to be watched and touched in the barn. A lamb tasting, wine tasting, goat cheese tasting, and of course luscious Solitude Wool yarns and fibers, plus our own fleeces, tanned pelts, and fiber. And our young Maremma-Great Pyrenees guardian dog Enzo rose to the occasion, leaning against all visitors for a pat.

Elysa Darling of 222handspun.com was there and has compiled a wonderful photoessay on the day, which you can see here on her website. Thank you, Elysa!

Here are just a few of her lovely images.

Niobe and Linnaea do Bethesda Row https://www.blacksheepfarmva.com/niobe-and-linnaea-do-bethesda-row/ Wed, 29 Jul 2015 18:17:08 +0000 http://www.blacksheepfarmva.com/?p=177 Children and adults get their hands on some fine wool at the sidewalk sale.

Children and adults get their hands on some fine wool at the sidewalk sale.

Fall-born ewes Niobe (moorit) and Linnaea (mocha silver) represented their breed well on Saturday July 25 at Bethesda Row, showing shoppers and children where the products from their New Zealand cousins begin, for Icebreaker Merino’s product line–exquisitely finewool knit and woven garments that exhibit all the wonderful properties of wool. Their garments (as does all wool) begin on the back of a sheep, who converts sunshine and grass into one of the world’s softest and finest natural fibers.

Steel drum music, dogs of many breeds, and the sights and smells of a busy urban pedestrian plaza were some of the experiences Niobe and Linnaea took home to discuss among themselves and their flock mates. They took it all in stride, and when the truck arrived back at the barn at 8 p.m. Saturday, they were resting in the truck, ruminating on it all, and had to be prodded up and out, back into the pasture.

Thanks to Lilly Hartmetz and all the staff at Icebreaker; it was great to meet you all.

Black Sheep Farm at Icebreaker Merino, Bethesda Row https://www.blacksheepfarmva.com/black-sheep-farm-at-icebreaker-merino-bethesda-row/ Fri, 24 Jul 2015 00:05:46 +0000 http://www.blacksheepfarmva.com/?p=172 Two Black Sheep Farm ewe lambs will enlarge their life experience with a voyage down to Bethesda, Maryland, on Saturday, July 25, 2015, to show shoppers where the fiber used to create Icebreaker Merino garments gets its start. The sidewalk sale in this upscale suburban Washington, D.C., area will be critically appraised by these ewes, who pretty much know the value of what they do–converting Northern Virginia’s lush pasture into luxurious fine fiber.

Icebreaker Merino is located at 4821 Bethesda Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20814. Black Sheep Farm ewes Niobe and Linnaea will be around the corner from the store on Bethesda Lane, in place from about 1:30 to 6 p.m. Baaa!

Reveal Party https://www.blacksheepfarmva.com/reveal-party/ Fri, 22 Aug 2014 17:50:38 +0000 http://www.blacksheepfarmva.com/?p=154 ultrasound image

The ultrasound image shows a growing lamb fetus (head in center, with body to the right).

The veterinarian came and went on Wednesday, taking his ultrasound equipment with him, and leaving the shepherdess with the results, to prepare for October lambing.  The couple of open ewes will be primed for breeding this October, with another small crop of lambs planned for April.

The ewes, as usual, would rather have been grazing, and squeezed together as far away as they could get from the stranger with the probe, but one by one they were brought near so that he could place the probe on their bellies to get a view of the uterus. (That wasn’t so bad, now, was it?)

Fall management schedule is now set, hay’s in the barn, late summer pasture management underway, and we welcome some rains in this unseasonably cool August.


Fond Farewells https://www.blacksheepfarmva.com/fond-farewells/ Fri, 11 Jul 2014 10:46:54 +0000 http://www.blacksheepfarmva.com/?p=86 This July the rams say their fond farewells to the ewes, go into a stall to learn how to get along again with each other, then are turned out on pasture to endure the heat of the summer.

Grazing at night or under the trees, and lying in the shade in the heat of the day, the rams and the settled ewes relax in separate pastures.