I met Carole Foster back in January ’07 at the farm’s open shearing day. To say that this day was life changing would be an understatement. That day led to a year+ long internship with Carole, who has taught me basically everything I know about sheep and then some.
Carole hard at work evaluating ewe lambs before a big sheep show.
It has been an awesome ride that has led me to owning eight of my own sheep, a flock I am raising for their superfine, soft merino wool. Speaking of wool, I’d also be at a loss without Carole, who has taught me to spin, felt and has helped drastically improve what used to be pretty pathetic knitting skills.
Carole even taught me how to dye my own yarn!
Right now, there are some pretty awesome things going on at the farm: first of all, the Foster’s are in the process of conserving their farm (read more on this project below) AND are holding shearing day THIS WEEKEND on the farm. We shear each year around this time in, just before lambing time begins (my favorite time in the sheep year!).
I can't wait for these little cuties to arrive!
If you’re based in the capital district and looking for a family-friendly event this Sunday, I’d encourage you to stop by. If you aren’t local but are interested in learning more about the farm or the conservation project, read on and click through to Saratoga PLAN, the organization heading up the project.
Foster Sheep Farm will hold the third annual Shearing Day Open House
on Sunday, January 8th from 10am to 4pm.
This family friendly event will be held at Foster Sheep Farm
located at 460 West River Road in Schuylerville.
, from Acworth, New Hampshire will be on hand to shear the flock of seventy sheep. A second generation shearer, she has practiced her craft throughout New England and New Zealand. The public is invited into the barn to witness the sheep being herded and sheared, after which the fleece will be trimmed, separated into grades of wool for various purposes, and stuffed into baling tubes for transport to the mill where it will be washed and spun into yarn.For those seeking a warm refuge on shearing day, “The Yarn Shop at Foster Sheep Farm” will be open, featuring ongoing demonstrations by local knitters, spinners, and weavers. The shop will be stocked with a rich selection of local and commercial yarn, spinning wheels, looms, pattern books, knitting notions and accessories. During the 2012 Shearing Day Open House, 10% of all yarn sales at the shop will be donated to the Three Bags Full Campaign.
Volunteers will be serving lamb soup, hot beverages, and baked goods and accepting donations for the farm conservation project. For more information on Shearing Day Open House call518-338-6679
(Preserving Land and Nature) will be on hand to provide information about their mission and programs, including the new Three Bags Full Campaign
, launched by a group of knitters and fiber artists, in cooperation with Saratoga PLAN, to raise $15,000 to permanently conserve the Foster Sheep Farm.
The Three Bags Full Campaign
Raising funds to make conservation of the Foster Sheep Farm a reality.The 145-acre Foster sheep farm
with fertile hay fields and pastures is located on the western bank of the Hudson River in the Town of Northumberland in Saratoga County, New York. The funds raised will be used to coordinate the process of applying a perpetual conservation easement on the property, ensuring that it will remain farmland and forest forever.
The family and the community share the goal that the property should remain farmland and forestland for future generations. We want to ensure that this farm will continue to produce animals, high quality fleeces and wool, hay, timber, and other crops.The original farmhouse has been converted into a gathering spot for knitters, offering a yarn shop, and classes in knitting, dyeing and other fiber arts. Knitting circles meet weekly by the cozy fireplace for camaraderie and sharing tips and techniques. Tours are offered for families to view the ewes and young lambs each spring.
Thanks to the foresight of Saratoga County, the Natural Resource Conservation Service, and the generosity of the family, the public will reap the many benefits of this protected land: clean air and water, a habitat for wildlife, a scenic landscape, local food and wool production, a land base for the agricultural industry, a cleaner Hudson River, and reduced property tax burdens.