Written by Melissa Forster, Co-owner & Shepherdess of Forster Farm
Current Village Residents
Raising livestock is a quickly disappearing privilege, and I feel so fortunate every day for the life I’m able to share in the village my husband and I have created. We started small in 2016, with the purchase of our first chicken coop and 10 tiny chicks from the local feed store. Fast forward to 2020, our village residents now include around 30 chickens, ducks, and turkeys, 50 quail, 1 horse, 2 llamas, a flock of 8 sheep, 3 dogs and 1 cat.
Hmm, that progressed quickly…
From Grief to Gratitude
I have always dreamed of owning a little farm, but I never quite knew what that would include or how it would look, and had no idea when I could make that dream come true. I truly believe that, at least in my life, things transpire exactly when they need to. In 2016, I married my childhood friend, Sam, whom I had known for 20 years. 2 very short months later, my dad passed away very unexpectedly. In such a brief amount of time my whole world was turned upside down, and I had no idea what to do to pull myself out of the crippling anxiety and depression that crept up on me in the years that followed.
It was during this time that I discovered my intense love for knitting and fiber arts. For those reading this who have never knitted, reading the last sentence may have sounded like a strange transition… but knitting (or any fiber art) is a form of physical meditation. The repetitious motion gives any stress or anxiety in your body an avenue for escape and is very therapeutic. From there, I began tirelessly studying fiber animals, and soon began a small flock of my own. I quickly discovered how healing the presence of sheep were, my daily pastime changed from mindlessly browsing the internet to sitting in a field tending my sheep for hours, watching the clouds move slowly by.
The trust and love that animals offer is very healing. This way of life, working with my hands, creating meaningful and sustainable products, developing deep relationships with the animals under my care, listening to all of the lessons they gently teach me about life, death, grief, joy, and every emotion in between, is such a gift. They entered my life when I needed them most, and now my hope is to share the healing power of fiber arts and animal husbandry with anyone who seeks it.
Fiber and Products We Offer
I produce yarn from my own flock of Border Leicester, Romney, and Coopworth sheep. The fleece they produce has amazing luster, durability, warmth, and is next-to-skin soft for your sock and sweater projects. I also am an indie-dyer and dye luxury yarns I source from farms who raise their sheep with the same level of love as I raise my own. Fiber that comes from my own flock will be noted as such in the product description.