As soon as we began walking towards the fence where the sheep were they started talking. Two Romney lambs walked up to the fence, their wooly faces looked like little stuffed animals.
We were visiting Liz’s sheep farm.
In a valley surrounded by mountains, the sheep had lots of pastures to graze. An Osprey flew overhead landing in her nest on an electrical pole. Liz showed us the field where she wants to plant Lavander. Her plan is to have Lavander fields where people can walk. It’s her dream to someday be able to farm full time.
Right now, Liz has a desk job with the town, raises and shears sheep, and is always trying to figure out how to best use the 40 acres of her farm.
Liz is our shearer.
Last year she gave us Asher and Issachar, twin wethers that she bottle-fed when their mother wouldn’t nurse them. She didn’t have the heart to send them to market. This year she had so many lambs she was looking to find homes for a few of her older ewes and younger wethers.
Getting another sheep was in the back of my mind when we went to visit Liz today. Zelda, Izzy and Griselle, three of my older sheep, died in the past year.
For years I’ve had ten sheep and that feels like a good number for the farm. Their wool has become popular and sells quickly. With the twins, I have nine sheep so I liked the idea of having one more.
Also, I only have two Romneys now and I’ve found that mixing their wool with the Border Leicester and Cheviot, makes a stronger and softer yarn.
So when Liz told me about two of her older ewes that she wouldn’t be breeding anymore, I was intrigued.
Liz pointed them out to me, a white one and a gray one, both with beautiful fleeces even shorn. She told me their names (Liz knows the names and lineage of all forty of her sheep) and their breeds, both Romney mixes, but now I can’t remember them, she told me the names of so many of her sheep.
It was hard to choose between the two and I like the idea of them having each other for company until they get used to my sheep. So I decided to take them both. Sometimes between now and the Fall, I’ll have two new sheep on the farm. And a new mix of wool for next year.
Jon made quick friends with Liz’s two Border collies. While Liz and I talked sheep, he threw a frisbee for the dogs. I saw Jon’s face light up when he saw them. I could see the connection between them in the gleam in their eyes.
Liz gave us a bunch of Lavander when we left. I felt like it was a sign of things to come. It’s exciting to see someone like Liz try to realize her dreams. Liz is smart and determined and has as much energy as her Border Collies, I have no doubt she’ll get there.