We are on the count down with the last two ewes to lamb. The field is full of bouncing, wooly babies. Who needs any other type of entertainment when you have lambs full of shenanigans all day long?! I feel humbled and blessed to be the shepherdess of this flock. They know my voice as I call them in the morning with a “hey girls”! They know that soon the hay wagon will be rolled out with the alfalfa breakfast! These mommas are working hard to produce rich milk for their babies to rapidly grow. The ewes also have extended a trust that I will always have their best interest in mind when assisting them with lambing or tending to a need. But I must share a secret, it starts with offering them apple treats! They check my pockets in hopes that I have again brought what they are really looking for…They catch on quick! These sheep…. they have taught me much!
Here is a fun fact about Icelandic sheep- They are the oldest pure breed — Icelandic sheep have been virtually unchanged in 1,000 years of isolation on the island country of Iceland.
With the hopes of spring and green grass starting to show its face, we start to plan for summer- rotational grazing, optimum flock size and then evaluating which ewes to offer as a starter flock for interested folks. Farming has so much to do with cycles…cycles of the season, of needs and growth. Cycles can keep us grounded in a time of so much change. There are things that in nature are still predictable, comforting, and familiar. We are thankful!
The Blooming Joy Inn has become a little haven for folks from all over the United States. We feel so blessed to be able to share this farm with others. The views of the mountains and sheep playing in the fields has brought joy to our guest too! We have a few dates still available for summer and fall lodging. If you or someone you know would enjoy a relaxing and refreshing get a way, send them our way! It has been so enjoyable to listen to the dreams of others wanting to be more self-reliant and what their hopes and plans are. Friends helping friends grow strong bonds!
We are looking forward to being a vendor at the Copper K Fiber Festival in Whitehall, MT this July. If you have a curiosity, interest or love for all thing wool, may I invite you to come enjoy taking Fiber Arts back to its roots! There will be workshops on wool spinning, watercolor painting with wool, dying wool, wet felting and needle rug hooking, to name a few. Vendors from all over the US will be offering all things wool!
As a shepherdess and wool producer, I am always looking for ways to best showcase the beauty and warmth of the Icelandic wool. I had the privilege of being connected to a woman that specializes in historical reproduction weaving. She is a master weaver and creates beautiful fabrics with her looms. I had some Wall of Troy patterned blankets woven on a 1805 barn loom using our yarn. What a joy it is to be able to offer a heirloom quality blanket, that if taken care of, will last for years to come. I have a few blankets still available for sale and have more wool skirted and ready to send to the Wool Mill to be spun into yarn for another batch of blankets. Our wool moves from our farm in NW Montana to central Montana for processing and spinning and then to eastern Montana for weaving. It pretty much covers the state with beautiful wool and comes back to me in blanket form. It’s almost magic but with a lot of hard work and love involved!
We are so grateful to the many customers that have encouraged us and supported our farm and the offerings that we have available. Thank you!
Love from Julie and the flock!