Groton, NY 13073
1970, when my mother, my daughter, and myself purchased and moved to the
old farm that was to become Rocky Top, we soon found that 50 acres was (in
today's world) too large to be a lawn and too small to be a conventional
farm. There was an old early 1800s farm house, a burned-to-the-ground
barn, about 20 acres of tillable land, 7 acres of woodland, a barbed
wire fenced pasture of about 5 acres, and the rest was very old pasture
quickly returning to woodland.
In searching for its right use, we went through many stages. The little girl in me had always wanted a horse, and it was one of the first words my daughter, Colleen, learned, so Red Lady and Rocket came to live with us when we added the barn, better fencing around the pasture, and a pond in 1972. We added a cow and some chickens, cats, dogs, and a very large garden. Then we discovered Arabians and Shahima became my daughter's show horse after we sold the cow. The last two of our Arabians, both born on our farm, lived out their lives here, passing on to God's pastures at ages 29 and 30.
My daughter and her family currently live nearby. It is a great joy in my life to be able to share this farm and the animals with my grandchildren. Danny, Zane, and Katie have all become capable young shepherds and have also enjoyed various 4-H projects.
In 1995 I learned to spin and purchased my first two sheep. I quickly became hooked and bought more sheep the following year and have been adding to the flock ever since. I truly believe that sheep are a viable and practical way to keep small farms in use as farms and that at last Rocky Top has found its destiny. My first three lambs were born in 1997 and each year I plan to increase the flock size.
At first I concentrated on a spinner's flock and experimented with various
crosses to improve fleece quality. In 1999 I started searching for
a breed of sheep that would provide a high quality fleece, excellent registered
breeding stock sales, and a good consistent market lamb. I found all of
these qualities and more in Clun Forest sheep. These beautiful, intelligent,
and gentle animals have captured my heart and will be the future of Rocky
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