FREE SOIL — Two scruffy sheep were cleaned up and made ready for the coming warm weather during Tuesday’s sheep-shearing demonstration at Circle Rocking S Children’s Farm.
The annual demonstration at the Tuttle Road farm had fewer onlookers than expected — chilly weather and other extenuating circumstances led to the guest list dropping from double-digits to just three visitors — but the sheep still had their nails trimmed and wool sheared, and that’s what matters most, according to farm owner Nancy Supran.
Don Schwass took about 20 pounds of wool off the two sheep, Ewe-Hoo and Agnus Dei, to make them more comfortable and clean during the warmer spring and summer months.
Once the wool is sheared, it’s used by farmers to keep deer from apple trees. The wool is thick with lanolin, which naturally repels deer.
Erica Karmeisool and husband Mark Curtis brought their young son Berlie to watch. It was their first sheep-shearing, and Karmeisool said they figured it would be a pleasant family activity.
Berlie seemed to think so. After some initial trepidation due to the volume of the sheers and the nervousness of the animals, the 21-month-old ended up having a great time, petting the sheep and marveling at the piles of wool on the floor of the barn.
Supran said the children’s farm is still working to get back to normal in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The barn dance has been canceled for the year, but other activities have gone uninterrupted. The farm is still seeing visitors with special needs on Tuesdays, and recently it saw the successful planting of 600 white pine tree seedlings with the help of the Mason-Lake Conservation District.
Additionally, the farm received some funding from the Community Foundation for Mason County, which will be used to partially pay for the installation of a wireless P.A. system to facilitate outdoor events like the Blessing of the Animals in September. Supran said the system will be installed soon.
Other upcoming additions to the farm include two new therapy cats, which Supran is set to retrieve from Minnesota.