WASHINGTON CO., N.Y. — The Washington County Fiber Tour celebrates its 26th annual event, April 27-28, 2019, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visitors drive this way, that way, or any way, throughout the County, visiting our fiber mill and nine farms, which raise sheep, alpacas, cashmere goats and angora rabbits. http://washingtoncountyfibertour.org
Our scenic County, which borders Vermont, is the most active and productive agricultural county in eastern New York. With its 23,000 cows, Washington County ranks seventh of the state’s more than 50 dairy counties. The members of the Fiber Tour contribute to the increasing diversity of the County’s farms.
The fiber farms’ management is top quality, which leads to outstanding animals and products. You’ll see new lambs, frolicking cashmere kids, multi-colored alpacas, and the softest angora bunnies. The farm’s products run from raw fleeces to finished yarn to clothing, as well as cuts of lamb and Tuscan style cheese.
At Dancing Ewe Farm, sample their Tuscan style Pecorino sheep cheese. Visitors can reserve lunch on Saturday and Sunday, and will see wool craft, shearing, and sheep herding demonstrations.
Wedding Hill Farm, a new member this year, expects brand new Romney lambs, possibly even during the Tour. Elihu Farm has raised prize-winning Romneys and fine and medium wooled crossbreds for over 30 years. This year they feature fleeces, washed wool, and top quality cuts of lamb.
Ensign Brook Farm has proven its expertise by showing sheep and fleeces at county and regional fairs. Their Romneys and Merino-style sheep won top prizes at a National Youth Show at the Eastern States Exposition and elsewhere. Watch their lovely fleeces being shorn during the Tour’s Saturday.
Three of our farms raise alpacas. Haven Hill Farm features hand made items from their alpacas’ luxurious fiber. You can learn how to do felting during the Tour. Dandy Gander Farm, another of our newest members, already has over 40 alpacas.
Quarry Ridge Farm’s alpacas yield the multi-colored fiber for their hand dyed designer yarns and finished garments. Their two studs have won of 24 championships. In 2018 a young female, born on their farm won 2 fleece and 3 halter championships.
St. Mary’s on-the-Hill Farm’s cashmere goats also produce luxurious fiber, and have won many prizes such as at the North American Cashmere Goat Show. A third special soft fiber comes from the angora rabbits at Fiber Kingdom. They also have two fiber-arts studios, and books and equipment for spinning, weaving, felting and knitting.
Battenkill Carding and Spinning Mill has two industrial sized spinning frames. The newest will produce finer yarn for woven fabric. Vogue Knitting, Interweave Knits, Plyed, and Where Women Work have featured their customers’ fiber products.
Washington County has scenic country inns and bed & breakfasts. Plan to spend the night, enjoy delicious meals that feature local foods, and shop unique stores in the towns and villages near the farms. See https://washingtoncounty.fun/ for lodging and dining information.
–Washington County Fiber Tour
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