FITZWILLIAM FIBER FARMS:
Collaborative Fiber Farming
Fitzwilliam Fiber Farms is a women’s agricultural collaborative. We are all shepherds, with each farm focusing on their chosen breed & committing to improvement of their flock and fiber. The farms support each other in many ways, animal care, resource sharing, marketing ideas, and moral support. We each bring new ideas and experiences to the table so that we learn and are better able to achieve our goals.
Preservation and Promotion of Rare, Heritage Old Breeds
Three of the farms share the same mission: the preservation and promotion of rare old breeds in order to maintain the hearty genetics and the special qualities of the wool. Nancy and Gretchen have been breeding Teeswater sheep for many years and are in an upbreeding program. They co-own a ram or two and make breeding decisions together, have a common nutrition program and sometimes move sheep back and forth between farms. Paula breeds “old style” Jacob sheep and also breeds Romneys. Paula is committed to breeding registered Jacob sheep in order to maintain breed standard as determined by the Jacob Sheep Breeders Association, and is a participating fiber provider for the Shave ‘Em to Save ‘Em program through the Livestock Conservancy.
Peggy does not raise a rare breed but does specialize in colored Corriedale sheep, prized as a dual purpose sheep for fine wool and meat. She is also the proud co-owner of The Junction Fiber Mill in White River Junction, Vt.
Wind Ridge Farm
My focus on my small farm in Ashburnham, MA, is on the Teeswater sheep, which date back to the Romans. They are wonderful mothers, friendly and of a sweet nature. I am enamored with their locks & the luster of their fiber. Bringing them into my existing flock has improved fiber quality and size of my sheep.
I have fiber all year round and market lambs in the fall. We recently started a line of beautiful wool blankets as well.
I love having a life with sheep. Time spent caring for them keeps me grounded.
The Dancing Pony Sheep Farm – 603-358-5146 – [email protected]
The Dancing Pony Sheep Farm is a home to 14 Jacob and 8 Romney sheep in Gilsum, NH. We love having the two breeds for the “Yin/Yang balance they provide. The variety of wool provides us with multiple product streams that are luscious to touch and highly valued by spinners and knitters. We sell raw fleece, Jacob roving, yarn in many natural colors as well as an earthy palette of hand dyed colors, and sheepskins. In order to waste nothing, we also have a line of green processed, handmade wool sleeping pillows. We find them to be extremely supportive, naturally temperature regulating, and they will not mold or get dust mites. The pillows are covered with a zip cover and can also be purchased with a sheep portrait pillow case, the original artwork done by my husband Peter Granucci.
Co – Owner (with Amanda Kievet ) of The Junction Fiber Mill, and owner of The Savage Heart Farm
Junction Fiber Mill is a wool processing mill in the heart of White River Junction, Vermont. Our goal is to promote and invigorate our local fibershed by providing top-quality custom processing, local fiber products and educational opportunities to inspire the community about sheep and wool.
Raising sheep takes hard work and year-round commitment. It is our honor to turn your flock’s fleece into the very best product possible. Period.
Peggy and her husband Todd also run Savage Heart Farm in Hartford VT, where they raise colored Corriedale sheep and have a bed and breakfast.