Both of us grew up as suburban city kids and lived out most of our life following that path. When our paths crossed and we came together as a family we made home on the relative outskirts of Austin. Close enough to all the creature comforts that city life has to offer, but just barely far enough to feel like we weren’t engulfed by it. It took a few years, but as Austin grew, new neighborhoods, businesses and industrial buildings sprung up all around us. It was getting a little crowded in our neck of the woods and we really were not sure what to do about it.
As we are both dreamers, we combined our creative streams of thought and thought it might be a good thing to expand our horizons and move our family further out from the city. We began looking West, but soon discovered that EVERYBODY was looking West. The prices for land was just not attractive to us and we began to think that perhaps this wasn’t such a great plan after all.
Then, when our youngest son (at the time) was about a year old, he had one of those horrible nights of no sleep followed by a day of continued crying and grumpiness. The only thing that we could do to calm him down was to load up in the car and drive…and drive…and drive. It took some time, but he finally fell asleep and the question then was, “Should we turn around?” We were headed East and decided to keep driving a little longer. Suddenly we found ourselves in a very pretty area we had driven through many times, but usually only at night at the beginning or end of long cross-country road trips. This surely looked like a place worth investigating at the very least, and that is what we did.
Long story short, we came across a very beautiful piece of property that not only met all of our criteria, but was also in our price range. We bought the land with a five year plan to settle there. We spent nearly every weekend camping on our little piece of “heaven on earth” and the five year plan became a four year plan, then a three year plan, then, well, let’s build next year!
The barn went up and then the house and before we knew it, we had decided to buy a few sheep, chicken, and goats. This wasn’t done on a whim as we had done some preliminary homework and made a plan for what we wanted to accomplish. So, there we were, suddenly living in the country with livestock. Looking back, it’s almost hard to believe, but we accomplished that dream!
The next stage was to better understand our animals and how to raise them properly. This was no quick learning curve and in fact, we continue to learn something new each and every day. We did eventually sell the goats because it was difficult for us to wrap our minds around both animal groups and keep our sanity and everyone safe and healthy. The focus became and still remains the beautiful, wonderful, fluffy sheep that have stolen our hearts and imaginations.
As we became more comfortable with the daily tasks of keeping up with our little flock it became necessary to figure out what to do with those new, soft and luxurious piles of fresh wool fleece. Our first year we tried doing everything ourselves, but it didn’t take long to realize that without the knowledge, skill, and proper equipment we simply were not going to reap much reward for all of our hard work. The next year we invested in a professional Shearer and had the wool processed at a wonderful small mill (Independence Wool). We learned a great deal in that transaction and were very proud and happy with the end result.
Since then we have developed our plans and goals to raise Texas sheep, have our wool processed in Texas Mills, and provide the best Texas wool and fiber products we can possibly present to you. Each year we are getting better through personal experience as well as through listening to and learning from the incredibly helpful “tight-knit” fiber community in Texas. When you buy your fiber from Whirl’d Works Farm, know that we are working our hardest to make sure that it is exactly what you need, expect and deserve!
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