This year, Kevin Ford, our sheep shearer of over 15 years arrived at 7:30 with his apprentice Emily. Both Kevin and Emily are blade shearers which means they use old-fashioned blades to shear sheep. It's a long process but they were remarkably quick, considering the task at hand.
Emily came from Maryland and brought her little girl Lydia with her. Lydia was incredibly well behaved. When Julia got home from school, they became fast friends.
The sheep were waiting crowded into a temporary pen fashioned from wire hog panels.
The Farmer caught the sheep, then passed them off to Emily and Kevin. Then he waited...
My friend Diane pitched in to help me skirt and bag the fleeces. We wrote notes about each fleece, marked them with the quality, and stashed them under a tarp to hold them for the fleece sale.
We didn't finish - there is still another day of shearing next week. Pray for no rain, otherwise I may need to reschedule the fleece sale.
To answer your questions (I'm anticipating), the fleeces are well-skirted but our sheep do not wear coats. There will obviously be vegetable matter in the fleece. The fleeces are not washed. They are various lengths - from 3 to 8". Our sheep are cross-bred and their heritage includes these breeds:
Romney, Border Leicester, Dorset, Cheviot, Rambouillet, and Shetland. We will have several colored fleeces for sale too.
The fleeces will be priced to sell - from $5 and up. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments and I will try to answer them there. And no, I will not ship them. Sorry.
You can listen to a nice interview of Kevin from Pulse of the Planet here. Thanks to Diane for some of the photos.