It’s a spring and fall ritual. Picking up last autumn’s wool from the Mill in the spring, shearing the sheep, then dropping off the new wool at the Mill. Then the same thing in the fall. Having the sheep and selling the wool has created a new calendar at the farm. It breaks the year up into two halves. One that starts in the spring and ends in the fall and another that begins in the fall and ends in the spring.
When Jon and I first decided to get sheep, it was a practical decision. They’d be good for Red, and Jon loves to herd and I could sell the wool. But, it’s become more than that. The sheep change the rhythm of the farm. Red herds the sheep, the donkeys protect the sheep, Jon and I take care of the sheep and they give us wool, the joy of herding, photos and stories and soon, lambs. Without them, each of us lose a job, a purpose. Sure we could live without them, but they complete a creative circle, connecting us all in a unique way.
Then their wool goes out into the world, scattered across the country, so that someone in California, or South Carolina is knitting or weaving a piece of Bedlam Farm. And the circle grows. This time I’m going to keep a skein from myself. One of Tess’. I don’t know how I’ll use it yet, but I feel like I want to take the whole process a step further, not just selling the wool, but being part of its transformation. And connecting me even further to everyone else out there who’s doing the same.