Arts and crafts feature at woolly weekend

Daniel Patt feeds a ewe during the Spring Farm Days Open House at Esther's Place and Lamb of God Farm on June 7.
Daniel Patt feeds a ewe during the Spring Farm Days Open House at Esther's Place and Lamb of God Farm on June 7.

BIG ROCK - Lots of weekend events boast an afternoon of arts, crafts, and stories. But the open house at Esther’s Place and Lamb of God Farm in Big Rock had one unique feature: people there got to hold a newborn lamb.

Esther’s Place and Lamb of God Farm hosted Spring Farm Days Open House during the weekend of June 7 and 8. During the event, families visited the farm's sheep, feeding Cheviot ewes and petting newborn lambs.
“It all started when a ram jumped over the fence,” owner Natasha Lehrer said. “We had a couple of lambs that year, so we opened the farm up to the public. Now it has become an annual springtime event.”
Attendees could also learn needle felting and create felt leaves to be added to “Woolen Woods in Big Rock,” an outdoor art exhibit. The project in Big Rock is identical to the “Woolen Woods in Sizergh” exhibit in England, which featured hundreds of woodland-themed art pieces all made of wool, such as knitted animals or felted plants, and featured more than 50 items from the Esther’s Place community.

Saturday featured children's stories told by Flora the Flower Fairy, a.k.a. Carolyn Finzer, and Sunday featured live music. On both days, a willow furniture workshop was held. People who pre-registered could make furniture such as tables and chairs, including "Franken-furniture," which is made from repurposed wood and objects.
The main event, however, was visiting the Lamb of God Farm and seeing the sheep.
“It’s really nice to allow everybody to see what the animals are like behind their wool,” Lehrer said. “You can meet the fiber. And there’s just something special about holding a lamb.”
The next open house weekend will be Sept. 13 and 14.

Joe Hernandez of Aurora said the farm makes an important contribution to the community.
“Especially the education aspect: fibers, crafts, and horticulture," he said. "Everybody here is learning more about farm life. You hope that the farmland doesn’t disappear. That’s why I brought my granddaughter here today, to educate her so that she can be a voice for farms for future generations.”

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