At Flora & Fauna farm, we are obsessed with wool ; it is a truly magical natural material! Wool is durable, skin-soothing, anti-microbial, insulating, fire-resistant, toxin-absorbing, renewable, biodegradable, and carbon-sequestering. We face so many environmental challenges nowadays, and maybe we’re biased, but we truly believe that wool is the way!
We keep a small flock of registered Romney sheep in Central New York. We farm remotely, meaning we don't live in the place where we keep our sheep -we commute! Due to farmland prices rising and cash buyers multiplying, we needed to get creative while waiting for the stars to align for our forever farm so we decided to lease land and start building our farm and business now. We hope to find the right place in the next few years, but in the meantime we are growing our flock & learning how to farm off-grid.
Our flock has grown to ten ewes, a ram, and nine(!) wethers. The aim of our breeding program is to produce lambs with good conformation and exceptional fleece. We integrate holistic & conventional methods of sheep keeping in order to ensure our sheep are as healthy & happy as possible. This year, we're working to implement more regenerative agriculture principles - these practices will help us work within nature's already proven systems to improve our resources as we farm, instead of depleting them.
We began this adventure with our first sheep in 2017 and have since been preparing for our "launch year". 2020 was supposed to be that year - the year we attended our first sheep & wool shows and introduced our yarn to knitters. While that didn't work out as planned, we did have time to make multiple improvements to our farming operation and business plan in 2020. We are cautiously optimistic that in the coming year, with safety precautions in place, some of the fiber festivals will take place. Since we are new to the scene, we are on waiting lists for many shows across New England - watch Instagram and our Events page for updates as we hear from each of them. If you’d like to see more of our sheep, follow us on Instagram @florafaunafarm. If you’re interested in lambing, projects and farm fail videos, visit our Membership page to become a Patron and gain exclusive access to all of our behind-the-scenes shenanigans as well as Flora & Fauna Farm merchandise.
I’m Ash, the owner and operator of Flora & Fauna Farm. My path to becoming a shepherdess was inspired by my love of wool and fiber art. I started knitting in my early twenties as a way to keep my mind and hands occupied during tough times. Then came spinning and felting...and suddenly - I had sheep. When I'm not working with wool or hugging a sheep, I like to garden, get lost in the woods, read, and hang out with my cat, Timber.
I'm Matt, Ash's partner and part-time farm hand charged with tasks like organizing shearing day, fence maintenance, shelter building, and mucking out the shed. By day I am an Electrical Power Systems Engineer but I aspire to eventually leave the rat race and become a grass farmer. My other interests include fly fishing small creeks, spending time with my Border Collie, Cedar, and napping.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank a few people that have helped us get this far. Not everyone we’ve met in the farming world have been friendly to newbies, but these people have taken the time to give us advice, teach us, and endure our MANY exhaustive, sometimes repeated, (and occasionally weird) questions. Your guidance and mentorship has been invaluable to us and we will never forget it. All of our love and gratitude to Ron, Sunny & Tom, Graeme, Peter & Danette, Aaron, and ibuprofen.