Lickety Spit Fibre Farm, home to sheep, alpaca, ducks and chickens, is a new breed of farm.
Rather than a traditional family, this farm is run by two friends, Melinda Ramsay and Michelle Bain. Instead of focusing on one fibre animal, this farm keeps sheep and alpaca together in one flock. And, of course, rather than pushing for land-use intensity this farm works to maintain a space that benefits not only the humans but the animals and the plants.
In the words of Melinda and Michelle, “We try to keep our (hoof)prints small”.
Melinda and Michelle come from very different backgrounds. Melinda, who also works on the television program Mayday, is a former Torontonian. Michelle, a former commercial sheep farmer, was born and bred in rural Ontario. Together, these two perspectives are building a farm based on organic husbandry and happy animals.
Lickety Spit’s flock includes Romney, Icelandic sheep and Blue Faced Leicester cross sheep, as well as Huacaya alpacas. Environmental integrity and ethical treatment of their animals informs the entirety of the farm’s operations.
All the creatures enjoy the luxury of pasture and barn protection, including the chickens with their chicken tractor and the ducks with their own pond. The farm’s manure is composted and used to support the soil and additional feed for the alpacas and sheep is locally-sourced and GMO-free.
This effort and dedication to environmental and ethical integrity is clearly seen in the high quality of the farm’s fibre. Lickety Spit Fibre Farm produces a beautiful range of naturally coloured alpaca, wool and blended yarns, all milled locally.
Additional fibre products, such as Alpaca Socks and Insoles, Felt-Your-Own-Soap kits, Laundry Balls and Goat’s Milk Soaps are either made on-farm or via producers that share the farm’s ethics.
When asked why they joined the Upper Canada Fibreshed, Melinda is quick to respond “I think that philosophically it’s really a part of [our] belief system[s]. We have to support and foster these skills if we want to survive.”
You can find Lickety Spit Farm and their Etsy shop at www.licketyspitfarm.ca