The world would look very different without farms. We’d rely solely on wild-caught game and wild-harvested fruits and vegetables. There would be no bread, cereal, or beer. Our clothes would be entirely made of plastic (even more than they already are)!
Farms provide so much of what we need and enjoy. October 12 is Farmers’ Day in the United States. Traditionally, this date was the end of the harvesting season. But while modern technology has allowed longer growing and harvesting periods, the date stuck — an important reminder of just how grateful we should be for farms!
Our farm is relatively small compared to many of the country’s 2-million-plus farms. (Yes, there are that many!) We primarily raise sheep and cattle but also have goats and 2 alpacas on the farm (the fiber animals). However, we definitely know the meaning of hard work. Farmers around the nation spend long hours tending to their animals and crops so we can enjoy a wide variety of food … not to mention our cozy wool sweaters and blankets!
I grew up on a farm, so I’ve long appreciated the joys and challenges of farm work. You definitely get your hands dirty — in a good way!
This autumn, I’m focusing on mindfulness and gratitude. As we’re celebrating the bountiful harvest, let’s not forget the ones who provide that for us.
Fall is also the time to celebrate animals. World Animal Day just happened on October 4, and it goes well with Farmers’ Day. Despite some claims by naysayers, most farmers are deeply concerned with their animals’ welfare. We provide them with the best possible care as we learn their quirks and needs. It’s one of the most enjoyable parts of running a farm in my opinion!
And of course, it’s a wonderful inspiration for your art. At Bear Creek, we turn our sheep’s amazing fleece into yet more creatures…from needle-felted sculptures to animal-themed pouches or pillow covers.
The rest goes to our partners at the Dakota Fiber Mill, who create beautiful yarn and roving for a variety of buyers. (Plus, check out these super-comfortable insoles felted from our alpacas’ fleece!)
There’s just nothing like real wool or cotton. Those textiles come from farms, not factories!
So if you’re interested in the fiber arts, thank a farmer … and be sure to support small farms! Here are some pointers on how to order straight from the source.
To celebrate Farmers’ Day this year, why not turn some sustainably-sourced wool into our favorite farm animals? From cows to pigs to sheep to chickens, you have plenty of options! Autumn is the perfect time to reflect on our blessings, enjoy some good food courtesy of our farmers, and unwind with a relaxing hobby such as needle-felting.