First, to introduce ourselves…we are Dave and Joanne Baxter hosts to Lyndhaven Farms nestled in the Aberdeen area of Abbotsford, B.C. On our five acres, we love and nurture our flock of Romney sheep, and Alpacas for their fiber/wool.
After 30 years, we said good-bye to the competitive dog show world. The pace of showing is fast, you seem to be on the road a lot, and it was only getting faster. Having had a rarer breed to Canada, it was getting harder and harder to put championship titles on your dogs by hurdles of the CKC.
In 2012 and early retirement planning, we decided to use our acreage as we never used it before by farming.
After researching the breeds, we decided on Romneys. We began with three ewe lambs Zsa Zsa, Eva and Ava, our Gabor girls and then added more every year until our flock reach 20.
(note – Romney’s are on the endangered species list in Canada along with many other purebred breeds. Everyone can help change these statistics by purchasing fleeces that are 100 % of the breed. Blend with other fibres to obtain the ultimate fibre experience.)
Almost all our Romneys have been purchased from Jo Sleigh in Whonnock, B.C. and then from Krystyna Warren and Martin Burwood because their lines were tied into Jo’s.
I am so appreciative for all Jo’s help along the way. I told her she should write a book…what an asset this would be for the future of sheep farming and care.
We are a “fleece” only farm, so we have to manage our numbers carefully for this is their “forever” home. We breed selectively and not often, which has allowed us to add a couple of Romney rescues.
An accredited vet said to me “They have an easy job because all they do is grow you beautiful fleece”. This is exactly their job!
In three short years through exacting judging at wool competition, ours has risen in the ranks quickly. In 2014, one of fleeces went Grand Champion over more than 80 fleeces.
At Lyndhaven Farms, all wool has been hand cleaned, washed, and dyed by myself in my kitchen. The wool is then naturally, air-dried and hand carded into batts. I love the carding process because it looks like I have a room full of bright, vibrant cotton candy.
We will be back on the road in 2017 with more fleeces, packages of dyed wool for our felter clients, my homemade olive oil felter's soap, and felted soaps for gift giving, even yourself!
This year we have beautiful Gotland fibre available, premium Alpaca blankets as well as premium Romney fleeces white and coloured.
New for us this year, is Wensleydale fibre! We didn't just buy the fleece...we bought the Wensleydales sheep themselves! Oak has been an awesome addition to Lyndhaven. It has been a real dream of mine to have Wensleydale sheep on the farm.
We now have a Teeswater residing at Lyndhaven Farms.Wehee will be shorn at the end of April, so if anyone is interested in some Teeswater curls, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Real soon we are expecting two ewes to lamb, our first lambs in three years.I have the tiniest of sheep coats put aside for them to wear after week one.
September is upon us and we are still feeling high temperatures and smoke from the B.C. wildfires.
Our last show of the year is coming up at the Chilliwack Spinner's and Weaver's "Spin In" on September 16th.
It is a fabulous event and I am so looking forward to going especially for the silent auction!
We have added one more breed to our flock. The sweetest of boys, August!
August is a BFL we purchased from Morningstar Woollen Farm on Bowen Island. Thank you Star for this lovely boy!
After thirty years raising and showing dogs, we learned the how's, what's and why's to having our Clumber Spaniels be at there best every day.
So when we decided on a fibre only farming we were able to rely on what we knew to get phenomenal fleece.
We are constantly monitoring the growth of the fleeces by getting right down to the root and checking the staple for any irregularities that may impact the healthiness and strength of the wool.
What you feed them is a huge part of it, we have been able to feed the same hay for this entire time as we have a local farmer for our resource.
Our sheep have been wearing coats to protect their fibre from the elements, the coats provide protection from nasty UV damage, wind, rain, snow and as we quickly learned...fly poop! I can never say enough times how much I love...love...love these coats. And our sheep love them too!
Huge kudos to Rocky's Sheep Suits of Colorado!
What does this means for you? An unparalleled fleece for an optimal fibre experience. So clean many can't believe it hasn't been washed. Luxurious and undamaged tips adds further delight.
Our fleeces weigh 45 to 50 percent less than a unprotected fleece. Why? It is the coats! They protect the fibre from being rained on layered with dirt and particles from our environment which clings to wool, and this rain and dirt build-up continues until shearing time. Before we used the sheep coats our fleeces weighed on an average of 10 to 12 pounds. Wth the sheep coats our fleeces weigh in at 4 to 6 pounds.
Again what does this mean to you?
You are only paying for a clean fleece and not all the dirt and lanolin you normally wash down the drain!