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On the Farm

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On the Farm

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bluefaced leicester

A Big Opportunity

A while ago, I had thought to put in my application for a booth at Rhinebeck (formally, the New York State Sheep and Wool Gathering)

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Pasture Progress

I have to confess that I am a grass nerd.  Today, I was exuberant to see how perfectly my sheep ate and enjoyed the grass

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Choretime

Now that I’m back on my feet more, choretime is a bigger proportion of my day. In the morning, I first check the status of

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Thoughts about Breeds

I am part of a couple of sheep discussion groups on Facebook and on other social networks.  One of the most common general questions is

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A Day about Pigs

We are having a little piggy-roast next weekend in honor of Matt…getting older, let’s say.  We brought a live pig home last week.   She

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Back to Rural Life

Living in Williston had its advantages.  If we forgot milk or butter, we could just go a mile to the store.  If we felt like

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Saving the Best for Last

To our surprise and delight, the house we thought we might have to walk away from has been freed from bureaucratic encumbrance, and is ours

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Our Stories

In the Press

  • Here are a few features of our farm and articles written by me in the past for the late, great Vermont’s Local Banquet Magazine:
  • Back when we lived in Williston and the farm was still known as Sheep and Pickle Farm, the Williston Observer sent a reporter out to the farm.
  • Visiting the Marshfield School of Weaving was a tremendous treat for me, as I so seldom get a chance to spend time making finished products from wool
  • I love mutton, so writing an article about cooking mutton was simple and enjoyable for me.  Lamb may get most of the credit but mutton is the meat that shepherds keep for themselves.
  • Here is my very comprehensive article about the challenges of raising sheep for milk and the lack of growth in the sheep dairy sector of Vermont.  This is probably one of my favorites, though the topic feels somewhat depressing.
  • Vermont has a seemly-disproportionate number of farms focused on rare and unusual breeds of sheep, ours included.  Writing this article was a fun opportunity to chat with some of my fellow local shepherds.
  • I wrote this reflection when my father-in-law died.  My work in agriculture has very much influenced how I view death.
  • I wrote an article about the joys and challenges of raising ducks.  Ducks are fantastic farm animals, but achieving a well-plucked roasting duck still eludes us.
  • I explored different popular breeds of meat chickens in a comprehensive evaluation of whether farmers have really replaced the ubiquitous Cornish Cross with slower growing breeds that are more able to engage in natural chicken behaviors.

Friends and Community

Farming isn’t a solo endeavor.  We live in a vibrant farming community.  If you like our farm, here are some other farms and businesses to check out:

We are members of the Bluefaced Leicester Union, the American Border Leicester Association, the Vermont Sheep and Goat Association where you can also view our listing, and we subscribe to the Shepherd, Sheep Magazine, and ASI. Locally, we belong to the Albany Community Trust.

My parents both do high-level handicraft.  My mother owns Judith Sullivan Kiltmaker, her full time employment.  My father is Sullivan Handweaving.  He has woven some beautiful scarves using my yarn this year.

Our neighbors include the Craftsbury General Store, where I do much of my day-to-day shopping.  They are a great source of local meat, dairy and produce and do a lot to engage and enhance the community.  We’d be hungry and coffee-less without them.

We buy our milk from Sweet Rowen – it’s pure, whole milk from right around the corner that isn’t homogenized, and it makes our coffee divine.  It feels good to know that our dairy farmer gets a fair price for the milk and isn’t relying on crashing bulk-sales prices.

Our sheep-farm friends are many: we love Stark Hollow Farm‘s tasty pork and their friendly kindness.  We are pleased to know other farmers working with the same goals as ours.  Tammy White at Wing and a Prayer Farm is a valued friend and fiber-guide.  Mary Lake, my shearer, has provided more than her fair share of help and emergency support over the years.  There’s be no farm without her. Our new neighbors include Tam at Wool and Feathers, Maria of Cate Hill Orchard, and longtime shepherd Larry Bohen from Larry Bohen Websolutions.

We’ve worked with The Royal Butcher and Vermont Livestock and Slaugh

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