Karen Kauth cares for a flock of 19 Shetland sheep and 1 FinnxBorder Leicester at Karberry Farm near Mountain Ontario, about an hour south of Ottawa in Eastern Ontario. She bought the farm 6 years ago and started raising sheep in 2012. Her wool is milled at Wellington Fibres in Elora Ontario and you can purchase roving and yarn in beautiful natural colours of the sheep: musket, charcoal, black and white. Below Karen shares some thoughts with us about farming, fibre and pursuing what you love.
What excites you about recognizing a local Fibreshed?
Knowing that there are other like minded folks doing the same, or similar thing, and being able to connect with them as a resource of experience and advice.
How did you get where you are now?
By allowing myself to admit that a regular 9-5 job was not fulfilling for me. I love to knit. The knitting led to spinning and that’s what twigged the curiosity about fibre sheep. I started my flock in January 2012 with 2 bred Shetland ewes.
What do you love most about what you do?
It just seems to be the most natural thing to do: co-exist with animals. Also, knowing that folks are looking for my products and appreciate what we are doing to preserve this breed of sheep and other animals on the farm.
What do you find challenging?
At the moment figuring out how much I can expand my business without growing too big too quickly. Also, marketing myself without it costing the earth.
What is special about you sheep? Do you have a favourite?
I have an unregistered ewe that came with 2 others. She should have been a cull ewe but she gets by and has the sweetest disposition. She loves to be fed her carrots and recently she gave birth to a beautiful ewe lamb without issue or deformity (she jumped the fence). Also a wether who follows me around like a puppy!
What is your favourite activity on the farm?
Just standing back and observing how they go about their day and then they come for their chin rubs. Hugging lambs and watching chicks hatch and following the mother hen rate highly as favorite activities.
To purchase some roving or yarn, please visit Karen’s Facebook page