Wool is the best way to enjoy winter
This is the story of how an old granary transformed into our shearing floor – recycling on a grand scale.
In the late ‘80’s, our rapidly growing sheep farm needed a proper shearing floor area. Our sheep deserve the top quality shearers; for efficiency, the workers need an adequate setup.
Our farmers investigated other Canadian shearing setups and talked to shearers. We designed the upper story of our barn to become a shearing floor. Previous farm owners used the space to store loose hay, then square bales. The floor was not sufficiently sound or laid out for shearing use.
An elderly Island structure needed to be demolished. A major economic shift caused the granary at Emerald, one of two that provided a key hub of Island economic trade, to be abandoned years ago. The owners approached the farm with an offer – to take everything down and clean up (except for the grindstones) in exchange for all the wood.
Those who built the granary did a solid job, nailing flat board on flat board of Island spruce, with hardwood where needed, but the roof had failed. The demolition crew cut the corners off with a chain saw, carving the structure into manageable chunks that could be transported on tractor bale tines.
The intensive demolition labour produced about seven MILES of reusable wood.
Our preteen sons and friends were pleased to inherit the shorter bits, learning to build outdoor forts and walkways and outlooks, hammering often a dozen nails in each piece, hauling boards one at a time by bike.
The old granary transformed to our shearing floor – and has been in annual action since 1991.
Building the shearing floor in the second story of the barn took time, with labour for haying and sheep work taking precedence, but it was accomplished in time for the next year’s shearing. Here’s a wonderful speeded up video of shearing day action, taken by our good neighbour from Lynn’s Lids.
The wool gathered, sorted, bagged and shipped to PEI for washing, becomes wonderful wool bedding, sold online and from our Wool Shed. The blankets are even stored in the unused (most of the time) shearing area.
About Topsy Farms
14775 Front Road Stella, ON, K0H 2S0