Elderberry Farm

snowybarnElderberry Farm is a small holding in Eastern Ontario close to the banks of the Ottawa River. When we first purchased our farm, I was most impressed with the cedar walls of the stable and its red tin roof. I couldn’t wait to fill the box stalls with sheep. And fill it I did. MariaFleece2004verticalAs a hand spinner, I wanted to have all of my favourite fibres grazing in my backyard. I soon learned that I had to select only a choice few. Having too many different breeds of sheep would be much too complicated if I were to avoid crosses and refrain from inbreeding. I also became aware of the possible extinction of certain breeds of sheep and, while keeping a close eye on fibre and temperament, I wanted to do my part in raising endangered sheep. The sheep breeds that made the cut were: the endangered Jacob, the rare Shropshire, a Canadian-made Polwarth, and the newly recovered Shetland sheep. Added to the mix are llamas for fibre and flock protection. We breed all of our animals with a focus on fibre and temperament. Sometimes with the Polwarth, I play a bit with cross breeding in order to get what I think is the nicest and finest wool. Shearing in April followed by lambing season in May is an exciting time on the farm. We never know what delicious 121007_MG_7913Barnyardstudiocolours might appear on the new lambs nor how many horns might pop up on a Jacob. Each year we are eager to see what the proud new moms have to show us.