Shearing School at Wing & A Prayer Farm with Farmers Fred DePaul & Tammy White
Where: Wing & A Prayer Farm, 983 Myers Road, Shaftsbury, VT 05262
When: Sunday, March 12, 2017 from 10:00 – 4:00
What: Shearing is an important part of sheep husbandry and crucial to their welfare.
Join Farmer Fred DePaul, New England shearer in his 54th year of shearing, who will demonstrate the art of shearing sheep and then help you shear a sheep yourself. Fred shares in a fun and educational afternoon regularly with the Calvin Coolidge Homestead on Wednesdays during the summer, and is widely known for his extensive knowledge and sense of humor. In addition, he is a regular instructor at The Farm School in Athol, MA and demos at fairs, groups of all sizes, and schools year-round.
He’ll explain why and when sheep need to be sheared and how to use both hand clippers and electric shears. He’ll also explain how to roll and store the wool to keep it in prime condition for you to sell on or use yourself. Farmer Tammy of Wing & A Prayer Farm will demonstrate skirting and storage details throughout the day, including discussion on fleece quality and care. There will be ongoing collaboration between Farmer Fred & Farmer Tammy during the class so you will be able to learn from their combined experience and knowledge and freely ask questions.
This will be a fun, physical day on the farm and is for anyone, whether they have sheep or not, who has always wanted to have a straightforward, practical guide to the art of shearing.
It is a hands-on course, so bring work clothes and comfortable boots for a day on the farm.
You will probably smell a bit ‘sheepy’ by the end of the day. You may or may not want to skip formal dinner parties on the way home.
Shearing is a physical activity and may be unsuitable if you have back problems and if you have physical challenges that require more rest.
10:00 a.m. Basics: Meet in the barn for introductions, tea, coffee, and something from the farm bakery to start the day
A short session with Farmer Fred to familiarize you with the basic technique of shearing, why and when you should be doing it.
10:30 – Hands on
Farmer Fred will demonstrate how to shear and then roll the fleece. He’ll share his tips of the trade and show you how to avoiding cutting the sheep and injuring yourself. Then, it’s your turn. Equipment is provided but if you have your own, you are welcome to bring it along.
1:00 – Lunch
We’ll eat a hearty home-made lunch in the barn. This will give us an opportunity to discuss technique, get to know your fellow class mates and enjoy some great local food.
2:00 – Continue shearing
You’ll spend the rest of the afternoon perfecting your technique. If you’ve got sheep at home, you’ll be ready to take the plunge and do them yourself by the end of the day.
3:30 – Skirting/Handling with Farmer Tammy
We’ll finish the day with plenty of opportunity for further questions.
Contact Tammy White, firstname.lastname@example.org, to register or for inquiries.