Who We Are:
Ever since a trip to the west of Ireland where sheep have the right of way, we've been captivated by these wooly ruminants. We used to fantasize about having a farm one day with enough pasture land to raise some sheep of our own. Fortunately, that fantasy has been realized with our purchase of an old farm on top of a hill in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.
The next decision was to select a breed, and after much research and visits to farms and county fairs, we chose Icelandics primarily for their hardiness (to withstand cold blustery winters on top of a windy hill) and their beauty (a lovely palette of natural colors, like a knitted Icelandic sweater covering the pastures). As we've come to know the breed better over the past two years, we've also admired their intelligence compared with other breeds coupled with their goat-like curiosity and mischievousness.
We've taken to shepherding as though we were always meant to do this, and it has been especially rewarding as our children have grown, moved on, and left us with an empty nest that needed filling. We have a background in natural and organic foods, having started a small natural foods market back in the 70's and gradually growing it into a large wholesale distributorship. This interest in respecting how food is grown and healthy eating has been a perfect transition into shepherding. We are constantly researching ways to improve the quality of our pastures without chemicals as well as the health of our sheep, so that our grass-fed meat is nutritious and delicious.
We've also discovered that our individual strengths have developed perfectly into distinct roles: Norman, as a jack-of-all-trades and former mechanic in yet another previous life, is the full-time farm manager mending fences, tending to the pastures, designing more efficient systems. Wendy, an artist, deals with the fiber end of shepherding, and as a natural caretaker with a strong interest in health care, has also become the defacto veterinary nurse for the flock.
Our little farm is "sheep heaven," as one of our fellow sheperds has coined it, with outstanding views of picturesque Mount Chocorua, a pond, gentle rolling pastures full of luscious clover, and a beautiful, cozy timberframe barn which has a solar roof that supplies all the electricity to our home. Our education has been hands-on as it should be, and can be at times joyful and at other times devastating. Shepherding, with its cyclical nature of life and death, joy and sorrow, and the connectedness to land has been our most rewarding venture yet.