Yesterday I had the most delightful outing to a farm in Hampshire called Scotland Farm. I met Jessica the farmer quite by chance at a Christmas fair where I had a stall, and after a brief exchange in the crowded village hall we established a shared enthusiasm for wool. She kindly invited me to see her sheep so yesterday, a bright wintery day I trundled along country lanes to her farm. Friendly sheepdogs welcomed me and Jessica led me into her warm and stylish kitchen for a hot drink.
We quickly established that we share a passion for the wonders of wool and I was astounded to hear how she has built up a flock of Southdown sheep in only a few years and perfected her line of duvets and bedding filled with their distinctive fleece. The short, dense fleece of these little sheep is perfectly suited to making lightweight yet warm bedding and Jessica has furnished her delightful B&B rooms with this bedding so that visitors can try before they buy. I would imagine that anyone with an interest in wool would find this a heavenly holiday destination.
After our drink in the company of two very friendly dogs and a handsome cat we went outside and I had the enormous pleasure of meeting a whole gang of her dinky little sheep with their friendly wide faces and short snouts. Each one has a name and Jessica knows them all. Here is one of her sheep!
I was also introduced to two big turkeys who strut around making their presence known. The wool bedding in the charmingly furnished B&B rooms made for the cosiest beds you could imagine and Jessica kindly gave me a bag full of wool rovings to experiment with. I’m looking forward to seeing how it can be needle felted and imagine it will be perfect for making gnomes.
I arrived home at the end of the afternoon with a spring in my step, inpired by the passion Jessica has for her lovely farm and the welfare of her beautiful animals.