On Sunday I visited the beautiful Riverslea Farm in Epping, NH, to check out the Fiber Fest. I managed to lure my husband along with me after I reminded him that this is the farm that produces the goat pate that he discovered at the farmer’s market, and now can’t live without.
The farm raises goats and sheep for meat and wool products, and has a wonderful shop on the premises that is open year round to sell their products.I am enjoying my visits to various kinds of area farms. It’s clear that they’re all trying so hard to be creative and find ways to keep their way of life viable in today’s world.
Lots of vendors and demonstrators were set up in a meadow next to the barn, and they brought along their animals.
|There were alpacas|
|And this guy was spinning angora yarn right from the back of his rabbit!!|
|The farm’s ‘guard llama’|
The story behind the llama is interesting…
“For years we had coyotes and other predators living around us but never harming our livestock. As the forests and hay fields in southern New Hampshire have rapidly turned into house lots, this has changed. We have had to introduce guard animals to protect our sheep and goats. We chose llamas. The llama lives full-time with its herd or flock, eats the same food and requires all the same care. Llamas have proven to be more effective guards than dogs or donkeys and we get the benefit of their beautiful wool.”
|This is a circa 1920s sock knitting machine! The finished sock is coming out at the bottom.|
The farm sells woven striped and plaid blankets from its virgin wool. They send the wool to one of the last remaining mills, on Prince Edward Island, Canada, that can weave these kind of vintage style blankets. The prices are very reasonable ($75 for a twin size)
Riverslea sells the blankets through the mail here.