St. Isidore Farm
St.Isidore Farm is the "mama" of Little Longwool Company. This eco-friendly heritage breed farm in Yarker, Ontario, Canada is owned by Kate and Andrew Michalski. Kate and Andrew raise rare breed Lincoln Longwool sheep and Lynch Lineback cattle humanely and ethically on their 200 acres of field and forest.
The farm is named after the patron saint of farms and reflects their desire to be good custodians of the Earth given to them by the Creator.
St. Isidore Farm has always been committed to eco-friendly farming practices that allow wildlife to co-exist with farm animals. Thick windbreaks shelter deer, wild turkeys and song birds while page wire fences and a guard llama keep coyotes out of the pasture. Sheep are moved daily to fresh pasture on a 30-day rotation schedule that encourages grass to develop deep roots to nourish the soil....
To read more about St. Isidore Farm, please visit the farm website at https://www.stisidorefarm.net/.
The sheep at St. Isidore Farm are raised primarily to help preserve the endangered breed from extinction and also as wool producers. It is sometimes necessary to harvest some of the sheep and when that happens the meat goes for food and the sheepskin is turned into beautiful sheepskin rugs.
Sheepskins are considered a waste product after harvest and are either sent away for disposal by the abattoir or sent to a commercial tannery for processing into leather goods. Unfortunately commercial tanneries use harmful chemicals in their tanning processes which threaten our planet. It was for this reason that we chose to learn how to tan sheepskin ourselves using natural methods with no harmful chemicals. In this way we honour the sheep by being good stewards of what it has left behind for us.
Jaana provides the tanning services for Little Longwool Company at her own micro tannery. She tans the sheepskins using various natural tanning methods such as fat tanning, smoke tanning and also a combination of alum tawing and smoke tanning. Natural hide tanning is a very time consuming labour intensive process but the end result is a sheepskin that is safe for us and safe for the planet, the way nature intended.