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Spotlighting Babydoll Southdown Sheep & Knitted Goods At Timber Creek Farm

The fiber farm founder, Janet Garman, reflects on how farming has changed since the '90s and how it's a lifestyle with genuine purpose.

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by Phillip MlynarDecember 17, 2020
PHOTO: Timber Creek Farm

“We started the farm area here in the early ’90s,” says Janet Garman, a wool farmer and homesteader who runs Timber Creek Farm in Maryland. “It’s been a wild 30 years!”

With a fiber flock of goats and sheep playing a central role, Timber Creek Farm puts its faith in a self-reliant structure that includes producing a line of knitted goods and natural dye kits that Garman sells via her online store.

Ahead of the holiday season, we spoke to Garman about her Babydoll Southdown sheep named Ike and how she’s noticed farming changing over the decades. We also got the scoop on her knitting project plans for 2020’s festive period.


A Changing Farming World

“Back when we first started it wasn’t anything that suburban people were doing,” reflects Garman as she looks back on the wider changes that have taken place in the farming world since her start in the 1990s.

“There were very few people that didn’t have family farms that were doing a small farm operation,” she continues. “So I’ve really enjoyed watching this whole sector of small-yard homesteaders and seeing people finding out if they can raise some animals either for eggs or meat or if they can grow a decent garden that provides something for their family. It’s been really rewarding to see people returning to that lifestyle.”


Read more: Learn the fundamentals of raising animals for fiber.


New Farmer Tips

Asked what early lessons she learned when she launched Timber Creek Farm, Garmon presses home the importance of proper planning.

“People should get things in place before they get the animals,” she explains. “I repeat this so often: Make sure your fencing is good. Make sure you have a shelter. Take a breath and look into it a little before you start bringing home goats or llamas or whatever it is you want to raise.”

Ike and the Fiber Flock

Ike is a Babydoll Southdown sheep who’s become one of the stars of Timer Creek Farm’s social media accounts.

“He’s a member of our fiber flock,” says Garman, who adds that Ike is a key part of their operation. “Babydoll Southdown sheep are a miniature breed that’s been around for quite a while. They’re gentle for the most part.”


Read more: Considering small-farm ruminants? It’s hard to beat sheep!


Holiday Knitting Projects

When it comes to knitting projects over the festive period, Garman says that this year she’ll be crafting neck cowls as gifts for her nieces. She’ll also be involved with readying a new series of crocheted baskets to launch via her Etsy store in 2021.

Farming As A Purpose

“This year in particular has brought it home and made it clear that this is a purpose. It’s not just something to do,” says Garman, considers the rewarding nature of pursuing a farming life. “I don’t have a choice to wallow at home feeling like I can’t see my family out of town right now because I still have a really busy day every day. You can take it for granted, but it is a huge blessing.”

Follow Timber Creek Farm at Instagram.

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