Animal Corner: When Fleece Becomes Wool

The 2 resident sheep at Filbert Street Garden, Edie and Lorna, are due to undergo their annual sheering tomorrow during Easter Fest!

Lorna in full fleece

Here’s how it went last year: The process was completed by Geri Lackey, who has been helping keep our sheep well groomed since 2021. Afterwards, Edie and Lorna’s wool was bagged up and taken to Nancy Newman of Butchers Hill. Nancy has years of experience spinning wool into yarn and has been gracious enough to share some of her process!

The wool must first be cleaned, as both Edie and Lorna picked up quite a bit of dirt living at Filbert Street Garden. Any matted wool, stained wool, or anything coated in manure is unusable and cannot be saved. After the salvaged wool is cleaned, the wool is thoroughly air dried, and then ready for carding. Carding is the process of combing out the wool fibers to ensure there’s no tangles and all fibers are aligned in one direction. Carding also helps ensure that the wool spins easily and evenly. After carding, the wool is ready to be spun on Nancy’s spinning wheels. Once spun, the yarn is bundled into skeins of ready-to-use yarn.

Filbert Street Garden is so thankful for both Geri and Nancy for helping keep our sheep happy and healthy. Stay tuned to Filbert Street Garden’s newsletter to find out what the next steps are for our skeins of yarn. Maybe a scarf? Or mittens? Or even a hat? We’ll follow up with answers!

Spring 2024 at the Garden!

Growing at Filbert Street Garden is underway!

We’re officially in the growing season now! Our hoop house has slowed down from our Fall and Winter leafy greens and herbs, and is ready to be turned over for a robust Spring and Summer growing season. Garlic and onions are going strong and will be ready for harvest in a couple months. Our fruit trees are pruned and prepped. We’ve switched out our Production Garden raised beds for more versatile and dynamic mounded beds. This will also allow us to grow more produce for the community than ever before, which is perfectly timed with the expansion of our curbside pantry. Along with the delicious classics you’ve come to expect from us, we’re excited to be growing culturally relevant heirlooms like Baltimore Fish Peppers, Hill Country Red Okra and more!

We’re excited to see both new and familiar faces in the Inner Garden this year! Our community gardeners have been working hard preparing and planting their plots. Our Garden Coordinator has been tending to seedlings that will be ready to go to our gardeners and the broader community in a few weeks. Keep an eye out for our Seedling Giveaway on May 11th from 11am-1pm right at Filbert Street Garden!

Seedlings galore!