‘Farm & Fiber’

Front Page / Jul. 17, 2008 12:00am EDT

Tour Saturday

‘Farm & Fiber’

Tour Saturday

The second annual First Branch Farm and Fiber Tour will be this Saturday, July 19 at three sheep farms along the Route 110 in Tunbridge and South Washington.

And it’s free!

From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., the event will bring visitors to the Vermont Grand View Farm in South Washington, Hollow Hills Farm in Tunbridge, and Land and Lamb Co./Tunbridge Woolworks, also in Tunbridge.

Guests can expect to learn about fiber preparation, hand spinning, natural dyes, felting, weaving, and shepherding. As well as the demonstrations, there will be live music, and refreshments.

For more information and a tour map visit http://www.grandviewfarmvt.net/FirstBranchFarmandFiberTour.html or phone Kim Goodling at 802-685-4693.

Last summer, more than 100 Vermonters and tourists traveled Route 110 and visited each of the three farms.

"These individuals were on a fact-finding mission to discover a way of life which so many shepherds quietly embrace in the Green Mountains," Reflected Kim Goodling of Grand View Farm. The farms opened their barns, studios, and paddocks to those seeking information about raising sheep and all aspects of the wool industry.

Vermont Grand View Farm (www.grandviewfarmvt.net), is a small fiber farm offering angora rabbits, Romney breeding stock, and farm yarn. The Goodling family will engage visitors in talks about raising sheep as well as spinning and felting demonstrations. Everyone will be encouraged to try the spinning wheel and make a small piece of felt.

In the barn, visitors can find posters about shearing, basic sheep vocabulary, skirting demonstrations, live fiddle music, and homemade sheep cookies and lemonade.

What impressed the Goodling family most last year was the level of enthusiasm and genuine interest, Kim Goodling said. One woman stayed for a couple of hours, listening attentively and observing everything happening on the farm, she noted.

Hollow Hills Farm raises Shetland sheep. Karla Klotz and her husband Gary Farlow are interested in fostering an awareness of their heritage breed and furthering the art of handspinning.

They use flowers, roots, and barks found on their farm to naturally dye hand spun yarns. Visitors learn about handspinning yarn and raising sheep sustainably.

At Land and Lamb, Co./Tunbridge Woolworks (www.landlamb.com), Marion White raises Navajo-Churro sheep. Her mission is to promote the Navajo-Churro sheep as one of the oldest and hardiest breeds in North America.

She has recently opened an environmentally friendly fiber processing facility.

White will lead groups around her farm answering questions about her sheep and wool scouring operation. Participants can make a piece of felt on her felting table as well.

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