Maine Fiber Frolic 2017 Poster
MOFGA Common Ground Fair Poster

Island Holiday

I’ve been to an island!  OK — not the warm, tropical kind.  North Haven is just an hour and a bit out by ferry, and Becky & Bill live there year round. Of course its population grows by leaps and bounds in the summer but at this time of year it’s fairly quiet.  Becky met me and as we drove from the ferry to the house, I drooled over the wide expanses of open land. North Haven used to be an agricultural island and sheep were kept in great numbers. At one time, North Haven lamb was prized in the markets in Boston. Today, there are only a handful of people keeping sheep and there’s a feral flock of mouflon that’s sighted from time to time. Sadly, most of the pasture land is privately owned by people who aren’t full time residents and it’s just mowed annually to keep it from closing in…aka keeping the views open. It’d be beneficial in so many ways to put that land into production…just dreaming. 

I’d heard from Becky that the day before I arrived, three sets of twins had been born to her Coopworth ewes so I was very excited to see them and their Moms. She and Bill started their flock with Coopworths from us and then a year later they bought our Border Leicester ewe, Imogene, too.

The view from Cider Hill Farm on North Haven Island.

The view from Cider Hill Farm on North Haven Island.

 I think the girls may have remembered me just a little…at least they weren’t too concerned with me hanging around in the lambing shed and handling their babies.  Imogene let me scratch her forehead and rub her back a bit…she always liked that.  And the lambs — very sweet. The three sets of twins were made up of one natural colored & one white.  I’m not sure whether that’s significant but it’s certainly interesting and very cute.  Becky offered that it is in honor of our new administration. 

When we weren’t playing with the sheep, we picked away at fleeces.  All were beautiful and really very clean considering they’d not been covered for a good part of the year. She was a little worried about their condition but I’d be very happy to have any of the ones I saw!  Last year she had some yarn made from her fleeces and sold it at a shop on the island. It disappeared…knitters know exceptionally nice yarn when they see it!!  It sounds like this year there may be some roving available, too.

This ancient apple tree couldn't be identified by the experts during a recent census.  It produces apples that weight about a pound each!  Becky & Bill have been asked to name it.

This ancient apple tree couldn't be identified by the experts during a recent census. It produces apples that weigh about a pound each! Becky & Bill have been asked to name it.

Becky's white Coopworth wether, Oatie, and his replacement ewe friends.

Becky's white Coopworth wether, Oatie, and his replacement ewe friends.

Its always takes a few minutes for everyone to adjust on their first day out!

Its always takes a few minutes for everyone to adjust on their first day out!

Marion's lambs sticking by her while she picks at every little green thing she can find.

Marion's lambs sticking by her while she picks at every little green thing she can find.

This little one has found a warm spot to wait while mom snacks on hay.

This little one has found a warm spot to wait while mom snacks on hay.

Back to reality and my own fleeces to sort through for the CSA. We have just a few roving shares left but there are still a number of yarn shares available. 

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