I shepherd a small flock of 20 head, more or less, of California Heritage breed Romeldale CVM sheep in variegated natural colors of cream, tan, brown and grey. I don’t raise market lambs. Most of the sheep live out lives of 10-15 years and are humanely put down when they can no longer function
well to walk and graze.

A student of Holistic Resource Management, I am constantly learning to apply the principles and practices of managed grazing to 3 acres of irrigated permanent pasture. The animals divide their time between pasture by day and a predator-proof barn by night. They receive supplemental alfalfa and grass hay from mid November to mid February when the grass is dormant. (They also love to chew the leaves and bark off fruit tree prunings. This
source of tannin helps to control internal parasites).

The yarns in the Rhoby’s Ranch line are spun on a vintage Louet S10 single treadle wheel. Finished skeins are washed in a series of hot water baths in a 5 gallon bucket with vigorous agitation. The yarn felts just slightly which gives it additional strength. This process, and the yarns created by it, is designed to take advantage of the unique characteristics of Romeldale CVM wool: softness, crimp and a resistance to wet felting.

On hot summer days water heats by direct solar in about 300 feet of hose laid out in the sun. Otherwise, water is heated on a simple 4-block rocket stove fueled with (de-barked) fruit tree prunings.

All barn litter, wool tags, ashes and wash water goes back onto the pasture as fertilizer, continuing the cycles of energy, minerals, plants and animals.