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Family-built Wool Shed
Our family-built Wool Shed is complete and open for visitors. Success!
This example shines, in an increasingly ‘big box’, mass-produced world. Rural communities are eroding, farms disappearing.
Support from our friends, neighbours, municipalities and province has cheered on the family-built Wool Shed.
They loaned money, muscle, expertise and moral support. Customers have written of their joy in our products from many countries and every province in Canada, loving the authenticity of who we are; what we do.
Completing the project by our deadline was a near thing. Our old Wool Shed was doomed by road-widening bulldozers; our efforts to build the new one challenged by the need to also be lambing, haying, doing sheep work; careful budgeting and challenges of ferry and Amherst Island logistics.
Once Noel McCormick, Island artist-with-a-backhoe, poured the concrete pads we dived in.
Jake evolved the basic design, working with Home Hardware, our building supplier. He worked longer hours in the fields with Christopher, freeing the other two men. Just before opening he designed and built a gorgeous setting for our sign, using a giant stump and careful dry wall work.
Will and Kyle worked long hours with Island foreman Rob, doing all the building and basic electrical work, with help from Carl. The skylights took a lot of extra time to install well, but their light is wonderful. Perry gave us hours of labour.
Peggy did the design and planning of the interior, purchasing, and coordinating with Rob, and finalized display and layout.
Ian paid the bills, helped co-ordinate with permits and worried a lot.
Sally recorded the action, fed exhausted workers, did landscaping and PR and kept craft items replenished, with the help of 10 piece workers.
Leah established order in the office, paying bills, helping Ian with shipping & receiving and sorting inventory. She and her mom worked wonders with Peggy on display and layout.
Ali finished interior display units and ceiling boards with environmentally friendly materials, and joined sheep drives and barn work.
Noel successfully managed to expose, support, lift then drag our century-old Ice House/Milk House to its new location behind the new Wool Shed. It will serve as shipping and receiving, replacing our living and dining room floors and table. This will be its 7th or 8th incarnation.
We hooked up the inspected, approved structure and electricity Friday night, before the Saturday official opening (no stress involved!). We were a part of the Amherst Island Christmas shopping event in our family-built Wool Shed.
The grandsons were involved that day also, with Nathan and Mike helping people find items they sought, chatting about the products and the farm, and taking cash.
We had our best day ever.
Customers left with bags full of yarn; armloads of blankets and throws; wool comforters and sheepskins; hand-made gifts chosen. A portion of the flock watched, serenely.
A 70th birthday dinner for Sally that evening became a true family celebration of all we had accomplished on our family-built Wool Shed – together.
Thanks to each person who has helped make this small shop on a farm, on a dead-end dirt road on an Island become an example of what we can all do in our home communities, working as a team. Buy local, wherever you live.
Please come visit.
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About Topsy Farms
14775 Front Road Stella, ON, K0H 2S0
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