The Story of Foster Sheep Farm


Tom Foster was one of seven children raised on what was at the time a dairy farm. He met and married Carole a farm girl from the Washington County hamlet of Durkeetown.

In addition to milk, the farm produced fruit and vegetables. As the small dairy farms in the area struggled, Tom Foster, was intrigued by the idea of raising sheep instead. The family took a field trip to Cornell University to see its sheep farm and began building their flock

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Though familiar with livestock, Carole was new to the fiber arts when she and her husband began raising sheep. She learned to knit and spin and has lately begun weaving. She has several spinning wheels and can carry on a conversation while gently pumping the treadle with her foot (clad in a sock of her own making) and turning wool into yarn.




Knitters gather at the Fosters' Yarn weekly to knit and spin. The shop, inside the mid-19th-century house where Tom Foster was raised, is lined with brightly colored yarns from the sheep at Fosters Sheep Farm and many commercial yarns and supplies as well. The Yarn Shop also carries roving, spinning wheels and looms.

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The Fosters breed specifically for the quality of the flock's wool. Of the hundreds of breeds of sheep, the Fosters raise primarily three types. Romneys grow a heavy, thick fleece that has a distinctive crimp and produce up to 10 pounds of wool a year; Wensleydale fleece grows in ringlets prized for its lustre; and Border Leicesters are known for the quality of their wool.

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The farm also has the resident Llama, named Lleopold

He works as a guard for the sheep, defending against predators.

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