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."
"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...