To all my lovely followers of Lily Warne Wool
I am sat in the on-farm studio typing this letter to all you lovely people whilst waiting for the flock to start lambing so thought its about time I touched base with you all.
I had as per usual a vey busy year so, where to start… why January of course….
January is always such a dismal time of the year for all after the festivities of Christmas and family time, I do feel we all take a downward spiral and the rain incessantly does not help. On the farm it is the time to tidy up and get ready for February which brings the delight of lambing. We are now feeding the pregnant ewes lovely hay from our fields which we cut and baled ourselves. We do not fertilise we let the sheep eat the grass whilst they alone fertilise. We therefore have wonderful natural grasses and herbs in the grass which therefore gives us wonderful hay for our darling flock. The lambing barns are clean and well aired before we bed down with fresh straw to bring in the ewes. We lamb all our sheep inside thus making it like a maternity hospital. Then the list of lambing paraphernalia is ordered. In the mean time the studio is again tidied after the busy Christmas build up and I write up the diary for the year with guest speaking appearance due and events to attend.
February and lambing starts we have both the flocks in Grey Face Dartmoors and Blue Face Leicesters plus a few ladies of different breeds we have inherited from friends. It is a wondrous time and again I am so grateful to welcome each little lamb born here. I do not eat lamb and the sheep here are kept for their wool and selling of extra stock to other breeders. We normally have a few early lambers for our son and partner Lewis & Flora of the Dartmoor Shepherd. He in return helps with the farm work and shearing.
March and the great delight in letting the new mummies and their lambs out in the fields. Many a hour is spent watching these beautiful babies leaping and frolicking around. This month also brings Mothers Day and a busy online time whilst the opening of our nearby attraction Canonteign Falls opens, I stock their shop with all our products. This is the time I sometimes get a little time to sit outside in the sun to work on new items for the website. Our other farm shop we supply is Ullacombe Farm at Haytor, this business is truly worth a visit as is Canonteign Falls.
April brings my bunny brooches bouncing off to new homes and my thoughts turn to the local Contemporary Craft Festival held in early June where I exhibit and we also take a few sheep. Our flower field at home is now in full bloom and lots of daffodils and tulips are being cut and admired by the lucky folk who receive them.
May and the Devon County Show… we love to attend and see farming folk who we never seem to get the opportunity through the year. The farm studio is in full swing preparing for the impending Craft Fair. It also brings shearing time. We are joined by our dear friend Paul Bowden who has always sheared for us with Lewis and Keith helping, the girls are all shorn and I sort the wool ready to go to the mill for my wool which is sold on the website.
June and the Craft Fair arrives, this event is just sublime, we attend as a family with Lewis and Flora having their own stand for the Dartmoor Shepherd whilst I look after Lily Warne Wool and Keith looks after the sheep and educates public about the breed and the importance of wool.
July and the weaning of the lambs commence, hay fields are being cut, mowed turned and baled and in comes the beautiful sweet smelling hay for our girls to enjoy in the winter months.
August and we try to have a little time off for the impending months of chaos ahead. On the last Monday in the month on the bank holiday Monday its the famous Lustleigh Show, we take our vintage VW camper and make beautiful hand tied farm flowers to sell, and any fresh produce we have grown. Always taking Lily Warne Wool items plus once again the sheep attend to great delight of the visiting public.
September and October 2019 I guest spoke at 18 events (28 for the year 2019) …taking me the length and breadth of Devon. I was honoured to meet so so many wonderful ladies and spread the love of British Wool and shepherding.
November and as always its extremely busy with poppy brooches and raising money for local charities which this year we took great delight in gifting the Memory Cafe, Chagford £100 to help with their work for local people with early onset dementia which as a family we have experienced. November also brought the Lily Warne workshops held on the farm… what fun we had. A definite addition to 2020!
And finally December….lots and lots of lovely orders and the selling of our farm grown christmas trees keeps us busy. A glorious family Christmas was had with both the boys at home and grateful for health and happiness of 2019.
Sadly, this year our sweet ewe Primrose passed away at the age of 12, Primrose was 1 of Lewis original Sheep and this news affected us all as she was such a poppet. We have had a amazing year with meeting so many wonderful people along the way which makes our life complete with all we get up to.
2020 bring lots of new products and a HUGE list of new guest speaking appearances I am cutting down on shows I will be attending this year as the website is so busy along with other family commitments.
Sending all my fondest love and Best Wishes to you all
Paula and all the Lily Warne Flock of Sheep X