VT Open Farm Week - Avalon Teaching Farm
Avalon Teaching Farm opened their barn doors this week to share information about their animals during Open Farm Week. Avalon Teaching Farm is located in Fairfax, 1841 Main St. to be specific, they have a large sign by the road with a horse and a castle on it!
Avalon Teaching Farm offers opportunities for 4H students, riding lessons, horsemanship lessons, camps, and adult equine intensives. They also offer animal husbandry classes for chickens, ducks, sheep, beef, and pigs. Avalon Teaching Farm also offers space as a co-op farm. Avalon has a history as in independent school for students in grades 4-12, now Avalon offers home school support curriculum, tutoring, and meetings.
We were able to visit Avalon Teaching Farm and learn more about their farm on Monday to “Meet the Sheep”. Avalon has two Babydoll Southdown sheep, which are a miniature breed about 2 feet tall. Also present was Nonconformist Farm based in Westford, who offered a wool spinning demonstration with sample fibers from skirted fleece to finished skeins. We were able to see yarn made from Avalon’s sheep, as well as their own Friesian sheep. We learned all the inputs to creating wool products and methods of dying wool. We conversed about breeds and their uses, rotational grazing, sheltering requirements, fencing systems, vocalizations, and temperaments of sheep.
The Champlain Valley Fair will have their 5th Annual Spinning Bee on September 3rd at 3pm, where spinners will compete to spin the longest yarn. Also at the fair will be a skein and garment competition, as well as a fleece competition. Learn more at: https://champlainvalleyfair.org/exhibitor-handbook/
To learn more about wool spinning, Two Sisters Mill & Mercantile in Jeffersonville will be offering “Learning to Spin on a Spinning Wheel” on October 28-30th. Learn more and register: https://www.twosistersmill.com/retreat-rates-and-registration
To learn more about shearing, The Vermont Sheep and Goat Association in conjunction with UVM Extension, will have a day Vermont Sheep Shearing School on September 10th & 11th at Shelburne Farms in Shelburne for beginning and intermediate shepherds. Learn more and register: https://vtsheepandgoat.org/event/2022-vermont-shearing-school/
To connect with Avalon Teaching Farm, visit their website: https://www.avalonteachingfarml3c.org/home