Rainbow Fiber Co-op

This fantastic group in their own words:

“is a Diné-led agricultural co-operative established to improve the financial sustainability and equitable market outcomes for the largest flocks of Dibé dits’ozí (Navajo-Churro sheep) remaining on the Navajo Nation. Our mission is to close the gap between rural Diné shepherds and an e-commerce driven marketplace for their wool. We are thrilled to announce that we have officially launched our online yarn shop!

Thanks to many generous donors we executed our first wool buy on the Navajo Nation in July 2021. We purchased approximately 3,200 pounds of Navajo-Churro wool from our shepherds. We paid a stipend for shearing help and a fair price for their wool by the pound. After skirting and sorting by color we transported the wool to Mora Valley Spinning Mill, a nonprofit community-based wool mill located in Mora, New Mexico, to produce an assortment of Navajo-style weaving yarns. In November of 2021 we began offering Diné-grown Navajo-Churro weaving yarns for sale online direct-to-customer. Sales dollars generated will be used to help fund the wool buy project again in 2022.

Most of the Navajo-Churro wool products available for sale online are from non-Diné shepherds. Diné shepherds are often told their wool is worthless or paid pennies per pound at mass wool buy events. Despite these challenges many shepherds create a market for themselves through hand spinning, weaving, and teaching weaving classes. This is difficult to do at scale and an unreliable source of income. In 2020 the pandemic brought marketing activities like farm visits, classes, art shows, and fiber events to a standstill. Several medium- to large-scale wool buys were completely canceled. These impacts have continued into 2021. We saw an opportunity to step up and do something to support these important flocks.”

Fibershed.org is helping them raise money to get their idea off the ground and their first run of yarn is now available on their website!

For more info:   https://rainbowfibercoop.org/

Farm, Goats and Mohair – Corrymoor Socks

The Corrymoor Farm web site says it all re mohair!

Their socks are all mohair with nylon added for stretch.  Rare in this day of mostly plastic fabrics!  Ohhh and the goats are gorgeous too.

Corrymoor Farm

Cool in summer, warm in winter.

Any moisture is quickly wicked away. This is true… we aren’t just saying it. It does mean that you can wear them for a considerably long time without washing them!

Good for your feet

Mohair fibres are naturally smooth which makes it difficult for foot bacteria to build up thereby preventing foot hygiene and health problems. Chiropodists and podiatrists recommend Corrymoor Socks. We find that people with sensitive skin or who can’t wear wool can wear our socks.

Hardwearing and will last for ages.

Mohair fibres are 3 times more resistant to rubbing than wool fibres.

Source: farm, goats and mohair – Corrymoor Socks

Secret to making no-smell socks is kids’ play, says Devon farmer

Nice article from the Guardian….the strength, smoothness and gorgeous ability to drink up dye are well known mohair properties but I’ve never heard about anti-backerial properties of kid mohair!

‘Steve Whitley uses the fleece of his young angora goats in hosiery that ‘can be worn for as much as a year without washing.

Mohair from angora kids is said to prevent bacterial buildup by drawing sweat away from the skin.

A Devon farmer is claiming to have invented by accident socks that don’t smell and don’t need washing.

Steve Whitley said the fleece of angora kid goats does not trap smelly bacteria in the same way as scalier wool or cotton fibres, and his mohair socks can be worn for as much as a year without washing. Originally he sold the socks for their comfort and durability, and it was only the feedback from astonished customers that alerted him to their unique selling point.

“Customers began telling us that they could wear them for days without them becoming stiff or smelly,” said Whitley, 65. “It was the men who were more forthcoming about this, but then women began writing in. One orchestra leader boasted that he’d had his for a year without washing them.”

Bear Grylls, Fiona Bruce and Stephen Fry were among celebrities who snapped up his Corrymoor Mohair brand, which he claimed “can be worn day after day, week after week, in extreme conditions without any problems from foot odour or discomfort”.

Mohair, shorn from angora goats, is prized in the fashion world for its strength, warmth and resilience. Less well known is that the first shearings from kids are highly absorbent and prevent bacterial buildup by drawing sweat away from the skin.

The products, which cost around £10 a pair, are good news for a nation which, according to new findings, loses 84 million socks a month in the wash. Research commissioned by Samsung discovered that the average Briton will mislay £2,528 worth of dirty socks over a lifetime.

Whitley said he wears the same pair of socks round the farm for up to a fortnight before entrusting them to the laundry basket. Grylls, Bruce and Fry were among a dozen celebrities who promised to report back on how long theirs can withstand the heat.

They have a challenging record to break. “We received a letter from a lady who had recently lost her husband,” says Whitley. “He was so attached to his socks that he asked to be buried in them.”’

Source: Secret to making no-smell socks is kids’ play, says Devon farmer

2016 International Heritage Breeds Week – How You Can Help

“1 in 5 breeds of the world’s farm animals is on the verge of extinction”

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

The easiest way to help is to use rare breed products and services!

Find a local farmer that sells fresh, healthy rare breed products. By giving these breeds and farmers a job, we help ensure their futures.  Help rare breed populations grow by purchasing products like meat, milk, eggs, and fiber from heritage breeds.

You can search for products by location on Local Harvest (then check farm listing for breeds raised) or on the Livestock Conservancy (members that sell heritage breed products).

I’m listed on both.  My eggs are generally sold out in advance but there’s always lots of fiber looking for a new home!


NOTE:  the Livestock Conservancy product directory search is down for updates as of today (May 5, 2016).  If you join, members get a paper version of the directory.


2016 Livestock Conservancy Conservation Priority List

Good news for poultry breeds!  I love my rare chickens and am thrilled to be helping preserve these breeds for the future (Australorp, Chantecler, Delaware, Dominique, Favorelle).

Delaware, Australorp, Dominique, Ameraucana Hens

Delaware, Australorp, Dominique, Ameraucana Hens

Dominique Hen in Wildflowers

Dominique Hen in Wildflowers

Australorp Hen Meets Salmon Favorelle Chick 4 Weeks Old

Australorp Hen Meets Salmon Favorelle Chick 4 Weeks Old

Pittsboro, NC  [May 4, 2016] – Today, The Livestock Conservancy is releasing its 2016 Conservation Priority List, and is excited to report that overall trends in North America are improving for endangered livestock and poultry breeds. 25 breeds have improved in status, 12 have declined, and 3 have been added to the list. 2 breeds of chickens, Orpingtons and Wyandottes, now have secure populations and are no longer at risk of extinction.

The majority of changes this year have occurred in the poultry categories, because The Livestock Conservancy recently completed an extensive nationwide poultry census, which polled thousands of poultry keepers to determine the population status of more than 90 poultry breeds. It revealed that more than 25% of poultry breeds’ populations grew in the past ten years.

“Even with the progress we have made in some breeds, many others still have a long way to go” said Dr. Alison Martin, the Conservancy’s executive director. According to a recent report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, at least 17% of breeds worldwide are at risk of extinction.¹ In North America, the percentage of endangered breeds is much higher than average due to highly specialized agriculture, in which production is dominated by just a few breeds.

“The Livestock Conservancy’s priority list serves as the guide for our conservation efforts and shows us which breeds need the most help,” said Martin. “Some breeds like Choctaw hogs, Crèvecoeur chickens, and Caspian horses are actually much more rare than endangered wildlife species that most people are familiar with.” The Conservancy currently lists 51 breeds as Critically Endangered, meaning that they could easily become extinct without careful monitoring and breeding strategies in place. An additional 113 breeds are in less critical categories, but are still in need of conservation.
Source: https://livestockconservancy.org/index.php/heritage/internal/conservation-priority-list