Shakerdale Farm

This is Blue, or Dreads, such as you see fit to call him.

Hey folks!  I am just a couple of days away from embarking on this year’s Taos adventure.  I’ve been running the necessary pre-trip errands (in between shuttling kids to and fro to summer activities) and doing some laundry to prepare.  Early, yes, but necessary, as the next two days are filled with puppet gigs, stem to stern.  Sadly, not much time to sit with the sketchbook and warm up for Taos.  I will just have to dig in when I get there.

That said, I did take a day last week to at least gather some images to feed the sketching for when I return home from this summer’s travels.  I took a lovely drive on a beautiful day out to Morrow, Ohio to visit the folks at Shakerdale Farm, a sweet little operation dedicated to the keeping of Shakerdale Sheep, a darling and somewhat rare breed of fiber sheep.

So here I will share some of the photos I took between helping out with some of the spring stall clean up.  I was tired and muddy and mucky by the end of the day, but couldn’t have been happier.  The Neff Family who run the farm are a delightful bunch to spend a day with and I genuinely had a ball.  There will be more posts in the future from this farm I think.  There was so much to take in.  I focused mainly on the sheep but there are also chickens, pigs, bunnies and horses to capture the camera, sketchbook and the imagination.

To me these animals look like they are about to burst into song.  Like a musical perhaps.  (Defying Gravity, anyone?)

My friend Anna would call those ears, ‘rose-petal ears’.  So sweet and curious!

And yes, there are a few bunnies there.  Even teeny baby ones, with only one eye yet open…

These sheep love to munch on the green grass in the pasture.

One of my hosts, Olivia, has learned to shear her sheep.  This one, Pickles, is patiently learning to tolerate being sheared often in order to ready him for the fair and, ahem, market.

My job for the day consisted of helping to muck out one of the winter stalls.  Funny how sheep crap just doesn’t seem as gross as say dog or cat poo.  But maybe that’s just me.

Kim and daughter Addie put the tractor into place for me to place the muck onto so we could truck it out to the Big Pile (I’m assuming out on the proverbial back 40).

When the gates are opened, the sheep go running for the grass.  This made me laugh.

There are few things more ridiculous than a sheep running!

I did manage to draw a little in situ

And over the lunch hour Marciah drew a bit in my sketchbook as well. (And though I don’t have a photo of it, lunch was provided by Zoe, who is one heck of a cook!!)

Every flock needs a protector.

Every time I turned around there was a sheep watching me.  Outside….

…and inside.  This little one is Jade.  She was bottle fed due to a deformity of her upper lip.  She’s fine now and will hopefully find a home at a farm that caters to kids with special needs, as she is pretty special herself, and is so sweet and friendly that even the most sheep averse will love her instantly.

Thank heavens I had help in the mucking department!!

These sheep are lovely creatures.  Kim introduced me to some of their fiber and I gave it a whirl on the drop spindle (literally!)  It spins up gorgeously!!  For the first time in years I find myself wanting to maybe sit and spin a bit.  Perhaps when these kids get their driver’s licenses there will be just a little more time….

Til next time!!


4 thoughts on “Shakerdale Farm”

  1. Thanks for sharing the info! I have a drop spindle around here somewhere. Now, I want to get some fiber and, it’s all your fault, lol.

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