I am a fiber artist and shepherd, two passions that integrate extremely well. My sheep provide raw material for my artistic creations, but raising sheep also allows me to spend many hours viewing the natural world. Each season brings its own shepherding chores and the chance to use my sheep’s wool to recreate some of the birds and animals living around my pastures.
Our logo was designed by my family’s good friend, Sue Thomas of Rutland, Vermont. We have a very active life style. Besides my sheep and art work, I have two jobs. My daughter Mara helps with the sheep, but she lives in a city 15 miles away and also holds two jobs. My husband, Rob, works full-time and is active in Boy Scouts. The juggling sheep represents our life style and our attempts to juggle all of our responsibilities.
Sheep create the ultimate eco-friendly sustainable products. They eat low maintenance material (grass and hay) and convert it into fabulous fleece that can be felted, knitted, crocheted or woven into natural clothing, blankets, and ornaments.
Sheep also specialize in preserving their own ecosystem – pastures. A small flock of sheep consumes and fertilizes at the same time. This method of lawn maintenance leaves only one mowing a year to control invasive pest species of plants that sheep refuse to eat.
At Marble Meadows, we practice rotational grazing. Our sheep conserve about 12 acres of pasture. We use portable flexinet fence to keep them in a small area. After they eat down one area, the fence and sheep are moved to another area and so on until all of the pasture has been covered. After they finish with the final section, the first sections have regrown so the sheep are moved back to start over again. This method keeps the pasture and the sheep healthy.
As a by-product of this practice, we also create habitat for grassland and ground nesting birds. Birds will even perch on the backs of sheep to gain a higher elevation so they can watch out for predators.
One of my personal joys is walking in the pasture and observing wildflowers. Coltsfoot, columbine, blue irises, morning glories and a diverse color array of lilies rival any flower garden. My sheep create their own paradise.