Hello everyone! Here’s what’s "growing" on this summer!
What a hot summer it has been! Thankful to finally be getting some rain here on the farm.
We've been telling you about our bees our this season. Well, we've reached an important next step! We have honey! We're handling local sales for now so if you're in the Asheville area, send me an email at email@example.com to buy and pick up at my shop.
Our next step with our "busy bees" is to make a couple of splits from our hives. If all goes well, we should have some bees for sale in the spring! How exciting!
Find Us Locally and Around the Region
We did really well at the two fiber fairs we vended at this year! Thank you again to all of you who came out to purchase from our farm. We greatly appreciate each of you! A big shout out to Purls Yarn Emporium for their order again this year! They were the first local yarn store to support us! We will forever be grateful. If you are in the Asheville area, stop by and see them. They have just about everything you could possibly want for beginning your knitting and crocheting journey!
As we wrap up the summer, we're getting ready for the Fall fair season! Halter training begins and all the fun of seeing the sheep fall out is always so funny to watch. Wish us luck!
We will be at the Mountain State Fair Sept 17th and 18th so come out to see us! Also planning on showing at SAFF as well. You can find all our upcoming events on our Events page.
New Product Updates
Last month, we told you about the newest members of our flock, the Leicester Longwool sheep. This month we are happy to show you our very first Leicester Longwool roving and yarn! It came out absolutely perfect! The roving is clean and soft, and the yarn is mixed with the Satin Angora so it is very shiny and lustrous! The yarn and roving are both available in our online store.
In addition to sheep (and bees), we also raise Satin Angora rabbits. We mix their fiber in some of our yarns to give it extra softness. Well, we are growing our bunny population and are expecting 2 litters of Satin Angora kits in the next couple of weeks if all goes well.
We are very excited for our new yarn we had made for Ukraine (Shetland Worsted Wool Blend). It’s white Shetland with blue and yellow silk added to resemble their flag. ALL proceeds will be donated to CARE Ukrainian Crisis. Head over to our online store to find out about this special yarn and the organization we're fundraising for.
I recently purchased a drum carder so I can make batts of fibery goodness made right here on the farm! That means we'll have even more new items available for all you spinners, felters and weavers!
Enjoy the rest of your summer! We'll see you soon.
The Sourwoods are blooming and you know what that means?
Our ladies have been busy all Spring and we are hoping to see the results of their productivity coming soon. This coming week we'll take a peek into the hives to see what we have. Stay tuned!
More yarn and roving are on the way!
We are blessed to have a mill so close! That means we can pick up our yarn and roving as soon as it is ready. We got the first part of our order in May just before we headed to the Bluegrass State for the Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival. You can see some of those new items below.
Well, OUR NEXT BATCH IS READY and we're picking it up on Monday! This will be our very first batch with our Leister Longwool (LL) fiber. We are so excited!
As you may know, we're part of the Livestock Conservancy program. Our sheep, the Shetland and the Leicester Longwools, are on their Conservancy list. We are doing our part to ensure these North American heritage breeds do not become extinct. Our LLs are our newest breed and that's why this first batch of their fiber is extra special for us.
The history of the Leicester Longwool
Leicester Longwools were developed in mid-1700s England by innovative breeder Robert Bakewell, the first to use modern selection techniques to improve livestock breeds. Bakewell transformed a coarse, large-boned, slow-growing animal into one that grew rapidly for market and produced a higher quality fleece.
News of Bakewell’s ideas reached the colonies and intrigued George Washington so much that he referenced them in several letters. Washington was particularly interested in Bakewell’s sheep, writing that he made the “choice of good rams from the English Leicester breed” for his own flock. Leicester Longwools quickly became a highly prized and popular breed across all of Europe and America. However, in the 1800s, the breed lost favor to the Merino and other fine wool breeds. This decline led them to possibly being extinct in the U.S. by the 1940s. The breed was reestablished by the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation in the 90s by importing sheep from Australia and commenced the start of several other conservation flocks.
Leicester Longwools are medium to large sheep, weighing 180 to 250 pounds. Fleeces are heavy, curly, soft handling, and lustrous with a spiral-tipped staple up to eight inches. Leicesters are eager grazers and make good use of abundant pasture. They're a docile breed and easy to handle, but they do not care for herding dogs. Herding with dogs is likely to result in the whole flock proceeding to the barn backwards and facing down the dog!
Find in-depth breed bios & resources on our website: http://ow.ly/B1zv50HR3nP
Anything Fiber Sale
Sat, July 30 9:30a - 2:30p
AB Tech Conference Center - 16 Fernihurst Dr. Asheville, NC
The Anything Fiber Sale is THE yard sale for fiber people. We'll have some yarn, roving and fleeces available at our booth. Learn more about the yard sale, hosted by Local Cloth, here.
Save the Date
Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair
October 21-23, 2022
WNC Agricultural Center 1301 Fanning Bridge Rd. Fletcher, NC 28732
Regional fiber events have been keeping us busy this Spring
We've been busy on and off the farm the past few weeks. In April we participated in the local Fiber Farmer's Day. We just returned from the Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival in Lexington, KY last week. We met lots of fiber artists who were introduced to our yarn, roving and fleeces.
You can find us this weekend, June 3-4 (Friday and Saturday), in Sparta, NC at the Blue Ridge Fiber Fest. We'll have plenty of Shetland yarn (including brand new yarn), fleeces and angora fiber available. We'll also have a variety of knitting needles and crochet hooks for sale. Get a sneak peek at our booth in the video below. Come say "hey!"
New from the Mill
Our fiber products are not only produced locally but they are also processed locally. We received a new delivery of Shetland yarn in May. That yarn was on display at the Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival and, wow, was it a hit! We'll have our new yarn available in Sparta, NC this weekend as well.
Look for the new Shetland yarn and roving on our website starting in mid-June.
We'll have another delivery from the mill coming in July. This delivery will include our very first batch of Leicester Longwool yarn and roving, including Longwool mixed with our very own angora fiber.
The bees are busy too
We expanded our hives earlier this year and our eager bees have been working hard this spring to fill them. On top of that, our honey extractor just arrived. Look for a Sourwood Honey 2022 batch coming later this summer!
Fri and Sat, June 3-4
Blue Ridge Fiber Fest
Higgins Fairgrounds Sparta, NC (click the link for directions)
**We'll have all our products available for sale**
Happy Spring 2022!
Winter flew by and we're nearly half way through spring. There's lots happening on our farm these days!
Life on the farm always means welcoming new members and saying good bye to others that we've loved so much.
We were sad to say good bye to one of our very first rescues, Johnny Cash, our beautiful, black Tennessee Walker boy, who passed after a brief illness. Johnny came to us neglected and thin when we adopted him. After some good food, medical care and lots of love, he emerged as quite the character who responded with a whinny every time he heard his name called - "Johnny Cash!"
He'll be joining, who else, June Carter, our rescue mare that preceded him in death a few years ago. There are beautiful, green pastures waiting for these babies over the Rainbow Bridge.
One of our flock guardians has moved on to his own pasture. Ellwood, our Great Pyrenees, found better accommodations on another farm earlier this year. Our other Pyr, Jake, remains and he's now joined by two guardian helpers, Gabriel and Michael (pictured front and back respectively), our new mini-donkeys.
After finishing up their quarantine, they'll be added to our herd of "littles" (Shetland sheep) and our (bigger) Leicester Longwools. We'll be able to learn more about them and their personalities soon.
And finally, the Bees. Are. Back! We were happy to find that our two hives made it through the winter. We are in the process of splitting them and bringing in new queens. We hope to have 4 more hives soon. The plan is to have some delicious honey later this summer but we'll wait to see what the bees have planned for us. Watch your email inbox for updates!
Spring and Summer Events
While there's a lot of activity on the farm, we'll also be attending events off the farm. Our spring and summer are filling up with local fiber events where we'll show our products and meet new artists all over the region. Please stop by and see us if you're at one of these events. And if you can't make it, let your friends know or keep up with us on our social media! Our schedule is below.
Sat, Apr 23 9a - 5p
10th Annual Fiber Farmers Day
Asheville (WNC) Farmer's Market Shed #5 570 Brevard Rd. Asheville, NC
This festival brings together the best of spring in the mountains of NC, celebrating regional growers, fiber and local food. There will be music, food and day of fun.
** Roving and raw fleeces for sale**
Sat-Sun, May 20-21
Kentucky Sheep & Fiber Festival
This will be our first visit to the Bluegrass State as a fiber producer. We're looking forward to meeting other farmers and artists from all over the state and parts beyond!
Masterson Station Park 3051 Leestown Rd, Lexington, KY
Fri, June 3
Blue Ridge Fiber Fest
Higgins Fairgrounds Sparta, NC (click the link above for directions)
**We'll have all our products available for sale**
And that's what's happening on the farm this spring! 🐏🐑🐇🐕
Happy New Year everyone!!!!
Life has been busy on the farm this past Fall! We were super busy with so many events and shows at the end of 2021.
Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair (SAFF)
SAFF was amazing as always. We did well but unfortunately most of the sheep came back with pinkeye and we have been battling that since Halloween. We have the last few of them in the barn and they’re looking like they’re on the mend. That being said, I don’t think we will be competing this year. Way too much time and money go into getting them well, and besides this is the year we will be vendors at the fiber fairs! We're still determining which ones we'll attend but as soon as I find out y’all will be the first to know.
We are taking a break from breeding the Shetlands this year and will be focusing on our Leicester Longwool (LL) flock. Humphrey, our white LL ram, has been with his 3 ladies since October: Melly, a white LL yearling, and Ri and Ro our two natural-colored yearlings. Fingers crossed we will start looking for lambs in March but considering how warm our Fall was it may be later.
New Products Coming Soon
A few weeks ago, we took our fleeces to the mill in TN and we will soon have a new batch of yarn and roving for you! This will be our first time offering our LL roving and, hopefully, a little LL yarn too. We are also blending our Satin Angora (SA) bunny wool with both the Shetland and LL wool in this new batch. SA makes the yarn billowy and warm. We are very excited to bring these to new items to you so watch your inbox for the release dates!
Also, coming this quarter we will be focusing on our kits. Kits will include yarn of your choice, needles, and a pattern. The current projects we have to offer are a pair of fingerless gloves, a cap, and a gorgeous shawl! Stay tuned this winter as we will have those in our online store soon!
Check our Goods menu. We're adding new items all month long in January!
Thank you for signing up for our mailing list! It has been growing quickly. This gives us a chance to let you know about all the things "growing" on around here. To celebrate, we are excited about our first sale this year!
For the month of January, we are offering 22% off our yarn in honor of the New Year.
Be sure to stock up while the savings are big!
Also, a special thank you to my dear friend Susan who takes care of our online store! She’s amazing and we couldn’t do this without her.
Happy Winter everyone!
Hey, Friends! Here’s what’s happening on the farm this month!
Home From the Fair
We are just home from SAFF (Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair)! The sheep did really well and we are super proud. Some highlights are:
We won 3rd in fleece off the sheep as well as many 3rd, 4th, 5th, and sixth places. It was a lot of fun to be with our sheep family and meet so many new friends. A few sheep came home with an upper respiratory bug, so our very own Vet Scott got to make a visit and treat everyone.
Jonathon and Charlotte were just here for shearing! 36 bags! We appreciate wholeheartedly all their hard work and talent!
Our Leicester Longwools have been put together for breeding season! Hopefully if all goes well we will have our first LLs born at the end of March.
We are taking a break this year from breeding the Shetlands but we did bring home a handsome Shetland ram for next year! His name is Frazier and he is a sweetheart, with very crimpy fleece.
We will have Satin Angora bunnies available soon so reach out if you’re interested in having a beautiful soft and shiny white bun bun.❤️
Save the Date(s)
Our farm will be out and about at several local events during November and December. Be sure to mark your calendars and come see us.
Hope to see you soon at one of our local events. Have a great November!🐏🐑🐰
Hi folks! Here's what's happening on the farm this month.
Headed to the Mill
We are super excited to be headed to the mill on the 19th to watch our yarn going through the mill. I'll be shooting a video and sharing it so you can see the whole process!
Upcoming Event - Stone Ashe Winery
We are excited to announce that we will be participating in our very first local artisan's day at Stone Ashe Winery on Thursday July 22nd! Come out between 11 am and 6 pm to shop in person with us! We will have roving, yarn, knitting and crochet needles (new items alert!), as well as raw fleece and other SourWood merch! Come see us - ages 21 and up only please). And if you can't make it out to shop in person, you can always shop at sourwoodfiberfarm.com!
July is the month when our lambs are weaned and ready for their new homes. We are excited to see babies go to their new homes.
The sourwood is in full bloom and our busy bees are making lots of honey!
Scott's tomatoes look amazing as well as the rest of the garden.
Scott saved a little wild Turkey from being run over (the fowl, not the bourbon😁). Both its eyes were crusty. Scott has been doctoring it and both eyes are now open. We will be releasing it back into the woods soon.
And that's what's happening this month!
We are starting a monthly blog of things that are happening on the farm for you guys so that you can get a glimpse of what the going-ons are. We hope you enjoy it. Here is our first!
We are currently enjoying watching the grass coming up from the seed, lime, and fertilizer we put down in April. We have found that perennial ryegrass does much better for us as we have trees in our pastures. We haven't had much rain, so you know what that means . . . moving water hoses and sprinklers! It allows us to get our steps in though.
We finished lambing season a few weeks ago and those babies are growing like crazy! It will be time to start the weaning process and getting them used to being haltered.
We will be picking up our last Leicester Longwool soon. She will be the last in our foundation herd. She's a beautiful English Blue.
We just brought two beehives to the farm. One of our hives did not make it over the winter last year and the other swarmed. They are currently bringing in a TON of pollen as we are having a crazy time with our allergies! Hopefully, we will have a nice sourwood bloom this year, and the ladies will be making that gorgeous, delicious honey!
Our rabbits are great. I'm very excited about the wool on them currently and may bring in a new Opal buck this month.
Our Great Pyrenees, Jake and Elwood, had fun at the vets and groomers! So proud of those boys.
The new laying hens are getting big! They should be laying soon, so we hope to be in better egg production. Also we are getting duck eggs here and there.
Scott has his garden in! We have peppers, beans, squash, zucchini, tomatoes, eggplant, onions, garlic, and a bunch of fresh herbs, and of course, parsley for the rabbits.
Summer sparks the beginning of skirting fleeces for us. I hope to make a video so you can see the process from start to finish. Once those fleeces are cleaned and ready, we will take a field trip to our new mill next month. We’ll get to watch our wool enter and go through the mill. We will share a video of that too so you can see how our fiber is made into yarn and roving.
We added new yarn and roving to our store a few weeks ago and we'll add more roving over the upcoming weeks as well.
Spring is busy on the farm! If you have questions, reach out to us. Happy Summer!