The weekend before last I attended the Farm to Fiber Show at the Anderson and Girls Orchards about a half an hour from here.
They had advertised sheep-shearing and fiber demonstrations, but I was not expecting to find an exotic animal petting zoo. Weird! The first thing we noticed were these Prairie Dogs. They were quite obviously trained to expect to be fed (there was one of those food pellet dispenser machines attached to the outside of their pen), but they didn’t seem grossly overweight, so I suppose that’s good.
We headed right over to see the sheep-shearing. These sheep were really good about being still/wrangle-able while being shorn, but those who were running around were definitely rambunctious. They had two sets of horns each, which means that they were like Jacob Sheep. Did you know that the state of having multiple horns is termed polycerate? I did not, either. I actually thought these looked like goats at first, but they are in fact sheep. While they were running around I thought of Susan‘s dog Wixer, who I’m sure would have loved to have herded them.
This woman was using an old-fashioned wool table, threaded with twine, to tie each fleece into a square bale. Here it is folded up, as she pulls the twine from each side and fastens it.
The wool table then unfolds and you have a twine-fastened bale of fleece! Pretty neat.
They also had some cute angora rabbits for sale, for any enterprising folks who want to raise and harvest their own angora fiber. (I am sadly somewhat allergic to angora, so that will not be me. Also I think Coraline would rebel at the idea of having a bunny share her territory, probably in with horrific results.)
Another of the other types of creatures at the orchard were peacocks. It was, as you can see, a gorgeous clear day, though in the morning the wind made it slightly chilly. These peacocks were crowing like mad!
Perhaps they were upset that so many people were wandering through their home? These two were perched above the wallaby enclosure. The wallabies were pretty cute, but there was one who was just laying on the ground looking either sleepy or sick. His fur seemed slightly different, so I thought it might have been the latter, which made me sad. All of these animals being kept in pens for entertainment was a little bit sad, actually. There was also a zebra, a dromedary, a camel, some emus, reindeer, and some other things I’m forgetting. I wonder if they have to spend all winter in a barn?
The proprietors of the orchard had a bridge on which the goats might tromp, and tromp they did, though there were no trolls that I could see. It was a nice morning, and there were also a bunch of local fiber and supply vendors there (I need to find out if there’s a list available as I didn’t get cards from everyone). Overall, it was surprising, educational, and thought-provoking – who could ask for more from a morning out?