Farm & Fiber Tour Connects Community

Three Rivers Fibershed (TRF) and local chapters of the Wisconsin Farmers Union (WFU) are teaming up to host a Farm & Fiber Tour with stops around northwestern Wisconsin in August and September. The on-farm events will connect community members with local farmers and shepherds engaging in climate-beneficial, pasture-based farming practices. Come learn about both organizations and their work to support farmers and local agricultural systems.

This family-friendly series will include farmer-led pasture walks, hands-on fiber activities, and educational booths hosted by partner organizations. All activities will be outdoors. Tour stops will include:

·      Saturday, Aug. 6, 2-5pm, Autumn Larch Farm, W7120 County Road O, Prentice, WI. Operated by Jane Hansen, Autumn Larch Farm LLC spans 6 acres of north-central forest region pasture and features a small flock of registered Coopworth sheep and purebred Romeldale CVM wethers. Hansen uses outwintering, intensive rotational grazing, FAMACHA, pastured poultry for parasite control and other regenerative agricultural techniques in pursuit of healthy sheep, high quality wool, environmental stewardship and a commitment to the regional economy. Pasture tours will be offered at 2:30pm and 4pm. Take part in fiber demonstrations, learn mending techniques and explore how to use dye flower/indigo pounding to make a natural dye print on textiles. Co-hosted by the Taylor-Price County Farmers Union.

·      Saturday, Aug. 6th, 6-8pm, Hillside Dairy, N3689 Riley Road, Catawba, WI. Take a twilight farm tour, see cows milking in the parlor, feed calves, and more at this stop, hosted by Wisconsin Farmers Union District 1 Director Linda Ceylor on her organic dairy farm. Stick around for a chili dinner and farm fresh food from Farmers Union members. Co-hosted by the Taylor-Price County Farmers Union.

·      Saturday, Aug. 27th, 9:30am-12:30pm, Curlee Acres, 159th Ave and 160th St, Balsam Lake, WI. Come meet the flock of Shetland sheep at this sheep farm and learn why their wool is great for knitting, felting, and weaving. The coarse sections are used for rugs and even the unusable wool finds a home in the garden as mulch. Learn how rotational grazing has transformed the land during pasture tours at 10am and 11:30am. Take part in a wool sponge making demonstration and learn mending techniques. Co-hosted by Polk-Burnett Farmers Union.

·      Sunday, Sept. 25th, 3-6pm, Priory Farms, 5001 William Ct. Eau Claire, WI, and Kubb Farm 5000 Priory Road, Eau Claire, WI. Join us for an afternoon learning about the work of these two neighboring farms. Priory Farmsraises Cotswold sheep, a threatened heritage sheep breed with a long history of making beautiful woolen goods. These gentle giants have a lustrous, long staple length which provides many options for the hand spinner, fiber artist, crafter, and knitter. Kubb Farm is a diversified farming venture raising livestock for eggs and meat as well as vegetables, mushrooms, and fruits. Tours will leave from both farms at 3 and 4:30pm and will switch halfway through. Enjoy the Mending Bar, nature loom, and kids’ activities at Priory Farms and Kubb games Kubb Farm. Co-hosted by the Eau Claire County Farmers Union.

The Farm & Fiber Tour is a partnership between Three Rivers Fibershed and WFU local chapters in Taylor-Price, Polk-Burnett, and Eau Claire counties. It is supported with funding from the WFU Foundation Grant and Local Initiative Grant programs. Events are free and open to all community members. Learn more at www.threeriversfibershed.com and www.wisconsinfarmersunion.com.