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The Women Behind the Wool

Posted on August 22 2019

The Women Behind the Wool
Meet The Amazing Northern California Sheep Ladies

The Story Behind Our Wool

Old barns, big pastures. We celebrate the extraordinary women sheep farmers of rural Northern California.
 
From their farms come our pillows and throws.
 
Meet Hazel Flett, Bodega Bay Pastures.  We source our "canvas" and purchased 100s of pounds from Hazel this year to make everything from Cat and Home Mats, pillows and throws. 
Meet Joan Pont from Pont Family Farm. We still can't figure out Joan gets her Gotland sheep in that extraordinary grey-taupe color.
photos by Paige Green/Fibershed

 

Where does the Wensleydale come from?

 

Ever wonder where the Wensleydale comes from? Some of the wool comes from JG Switzer Founder Jessica's shop sheep, but most of it comes from Wyammy Ranch -- Wyammy Ranch has been breeding Romney and Wensleydale sheep for 30+ years, and as a horse breeder and ranch gal in Occidental, Joann is my sheep hero. I bought my first sheep from her, and we source our most popular pillows, the Wensleydale pillows, from her flocks. She breeds award-winning fleeces, and she protects her fine fleeces by having everyone wear cute little coats all year before shearing. Eddie helps her get the jackets off and on every year.

 

Joann skirting one of her award-winning fleeces 

We come every year to hand pick the best of the best Wensleydale fleeces. Your Wensleydale pillow is raw fleece, washed 3 times before it is ready to adorn your pillow or throw.  

Local Wool So Good You Could Hug It

 

If you are interested in learning more about NorCal efforts to cultivate healthy soil in pastures and the benefits of sustainable sheep farming, check out Fibershed.com, Fibershedmarketplace.com, and for more info on Heritage breeds: Livestockconservancy.com.  

JGSWITZER is a proud sponsor of the Livestock COnservancy's Shave 'em to Save 'Em program, and a member of both Fibershed.com and the Fibershed Marketplace COOP. Please keep in touch and support by subscribing to newsletters and attending events listed on the websites. You don't have to knit to love wool!  Fibershed Events hosts farm tours for kids of all ages.