Turning personal passion into product
Dolce Farm and Orchards started for owners, now thriving business
With a quick sheep, sheep, sheep, 15 wooly Icelandic creatures come running. The others, in a separate pasture, turn their heads, but continue feasting on their morning meal. As the ladies approach, Anne Brown points out the varying coat colors. They range from shades of black and brown to red and cream, with varied patterns within each.
They come in different colors and patterns, some have horns and some dont. Theyre very curious and intelligent sheep, said Brown, who owns Dolce Farm and Orchards.
She and her husband Kevin have had their farm for more than 10 years, and although the different products they offer have changed, the one constant has been Icelandic sheep.
From her flock of 25, she sells raw wool, roving, pelts, meat and sometimes the entire sheep.
I sell raw fleeces because a lot of spinners or people that craft like to go from the very beginning of the process, they like to process from start to finish, she said. I send a lot out for roving. Its already washed (and formed into a rope) so all you have to do is spin.
Although shes been selling the wool for years, she said she got the sheep for herself.
Its like, what do you like to do? Well Ive always liked to eat lamb and knit so I thought well I can learn to spin, but what kind of sheep am I going to get? Brown said. So I spun 15 different kinds and I really liked Icelandic.
Thats how she came to have 50 Delaware chickens, grapes, assorted berries and hazelnuts as well.
Then I thought, well we like eggs, so maybe we should get chickens. We tried lavender, but that was a lot of work so we were not so interested in that, she said. We thought maybe we would plant olive trees, but then it got to be 10 degrees and a lot of them died. So then we thought, well maybe well try hazelnuts instead. So you just try different things that might be of interest.
While parts of the farm are still developing, like the hazelnut orchards, selling eggs and jam has kept the farm busy of late.
I have people driving great distances to come and get them, she said. The eggs just really have a wonderful flavor.
As do her jams, which she said she likes to experiment with since she produces such small batches. Some flavors include caramelized pear, golden raspberry and apple butter.
But the most noticeable aspect of the farm is still the sheep, and three Pygora goats.
Theyre naughtypants, she said.
To learn more about Dolce Farms, or purchase wool, visit www.dolcefarm.com or on.fb.me/1lFgR39.