To introduce myself, I am Sylvia Jorrin, a farmer in the Catskill Mountains. The 27th anniversary of the founding of this farm was May 8. While it features sheep, there is a sprinkling of dairy goats as well as about 75 currant and gooseberry bushes to flavor the mix. Often there are vegetables, such as leeks, garlic, kale and radichio, some of which are sold. The farm covers 85 acres on which I run between 75 and 100 animals.
There are conservation practices in place as the creek here ultimately flows out of the taps in New York City, which is 180 miles away. Both the city and the federal government have paid for the fencing and clean water practices that are in place here.
Two of my books have been published. The first is called Sylvia’s Farm. The sequel is The Journal of an Improbable Shepherd. They are about the wonders of the life here.
The most current project here is to repair the roadside fencing destroyed by this most ghastly of winters and to move or replace an existing fence compromised by some very insistent beavers. I had destroyed their dams over a period of years until their last effort required serious work by a man with an excavator. Two days before he was to do the work, my son took a kayak out onto the beaver pond. That did it. When he visits nothing gives him more pleasure than the time he spends on the pond. Obviously, the pond stays.
In the interest of keeping the water clean, my sheep and goats have to be fenced out, therefore the Watershed Agriculture Council is paying to reposition said fence. A nice job. The irony is that the pond and the 10 acres around the water sources are also declared to be wildlife protection areas, therefore, while the local deer, foxes, coyotes and, yes, beavers, are free to roam, foul and drink from it, my dear sweet sheep are not. Go figure.
Signed copies of my books are available by calling me at 607-746-2596. I do have a website that includes a new story every month as well as photographs.
Shear Your Own Sheep
Check out this advice from a professional shearer on the ins and outs of at-home wool removal, setting you up for a safe, humane experience every time.
Fiber Farms and Wool Farming
Shearing sheep, alpacas, or llamas can bring your small wool farming operation a tidy profit, without the fuss of breeding.
Building New Lambing Jugs
Last year, the lambing jugs were cobbled together from panels and gates that were on hand, but not meant for long-term use. This fall, we’re turning an unused area of the barn into the lambing area with custom-built pens that will be secure, as well as movable for easy clean-up after lambing season is over.