Spend a day on the farm at Elkus Ranch’s annual Sheep to Shawl event, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 8.
Wool is the theme of the day, as the Elkus Ranch sheep herd undergoes its spring shearing at the hands of the professional sheep-shearer known as “Mr. Wool.” Visitors can watch as he holds the sheep down and carefully removes its thick wooly coat with a pair of electric clippers.
Kids can take part in the rest of the process. They first card the wool with fat carding combs. Once the fleece is smooth and tangle- free, participants can make a simple thread using a hand spindle, then dye their thread with natural dyes made of flax seeds, beets or flower stalks, walking away with their own sample as a bracelet. The Elkus Ranch Wool Spinners will also be on hand to demonstrate spinning on a wheel and answer other questions on wool crafting.
There’s much more to the day then wool. Visitors will also get a chance to get up close and personal with Elkus Ranch’s friendly animals. Kids can brush a goat or a donkey, feed a chicken, pet a bunny and admire the llama. Don’t forget to grind a corn cob into chicken feed with the hand grinder or explore the gardens.
Advanced reservations are advised as space is limited. Tickets are $15 per person; children 2 years and under are free. Reserve a space online at elkusranch.ucanr.edu.