Saturday, February 09, 2008

Warning! Hippie post ahead!

Now that I no longer work Saturdays I and Badly Coloured Boy finally got to go to the organic markets for our fruit and veg. Ordinarily we go to the (very cheap) regular fruit & veg markets, but I've felt that their quality had been slipping a bit, especially on the fruit front. When I found myself buying fruit from Coles instead I knew Something Had to Be Done. Hence City Farm.

Most interesting, perhaps, were the bio-dynamic beef farmers there. They also sold small quantities of hogget. Hogget from merino sheep. "Merino?!" I exclaimed, "Didn't know they were worth eating! What do you do with the fleece?!"
The guy eyed me off.
"You from a sheep-farming background?"
"Uh... no... I, um, I knit."
*blank stare*
"What happens to the fleece?"
"Well, we usually just sell it to a bulk distributor and it gets spun with regular fleece, but if you want we can always get you raw fleeces. You'd have to scour them yourself. And you can't have any till we get over the lice problem we have right now."

Okay, aside from the amusement/ yuck value of sheep with lice, think about this. Here is a guy with bio-dynamic merino fleece, and it's just being sold into pools of regular fleece. I explained there was a market for organic, small-scale hand-knitting yarn, but he didn't seem terribly interested. I think it may also be difficult to find a mill in Australia that would be deemed organic.

I personally am not terribly interested in scouring, carding, whatevering and spinning the stuff. Bilby Yarns are aligned with the Melanian Sheep Breeders. They might, but I wouldn't be sure, be willing to take on non-coloured bio-dynamic fleece.

What can I tell this guy, where can I send him, would anyone be interested in his (lice-free) bio-dynamic merino fleece? I'd love to see something like an Australian version of Beaverslide up and about...

5 comments:

Ibunnysavetroy said...

that's awesome, i personally think you should get into spinning, but thats just me. maybe try to find a mill that does do something like that with other fleeces and attempt to get SOMEONE interested?

Jackie said...

Maybe if you cannot get a mill to do it. You could see if there is a market to sell the fleeces themselves? If people are interested in organic yarns, maybe there are people out there looking for the same qualities in their roving/fleeces? I don't know as I don't spin...

KnitXcorE said...

we have a CSA not far from our house, but you have to buy into it and it's really expensive.
I'm trying to talk them into selling smaller shares.
lice-y sheep = ew.

Andrea said...

My best friend is planning to open a wool store here in Melbourne focusing on organic yarns. If only we could get a mill to help (my own spinning is awful. Really dreadful. I have a textiles degree to prove it too!).

Eileen said...

Hi there, I would love to get the merino fleeces. Coudl you provide a contact? i would also be personal interested to contact this guy, as I am intyerested in biodynamic farming..please write to ethicalknitter@googlemail.com

Look forward to hearing from you soon,