Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

See the Lambs While the Ewes Get a Spring-Time Hair [Fleece] Cut!

 After a long winter, the sheep at Fosterfields Living Historic Farm soon will be trading in their warm wool coats for something more lightweight and breathable. Join the skilled sheep shearer at Cooper Mill at Black River County Park in Chester Township on May 14 at the “Born to Be Shorn” event and watch the annual hand-shearing of live sheep.

2015 sheep shearing event

2015 sheep shearing event

Visitors to the event, which runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.,  will see a flock of sheep from Fosterfields receiving their spring fleece cut. You’ll witness the trust between human and animal as sheep are sheared as it was done in the past, only using a pair of hand-held shears.

“Wool continually grows, and if not sheared the fleece will become heavy and hot,” said Mark Sutherland, Manager of Historic Sites. “Following the shearing, see how fleece is processed to be made into garments. You can help with the various process by washing and carding the fleece, and spinning and weaving the yarn. Watch first-hand as natural fleece is dyed in a pot over an open fire.”

You can join in the fun and make a sheep craft, and try other fiber crafts to take home. Top off your day with a tour of the 1826 water-powered Cooper Gristmill – the only fully water-powered gristmill in New Jersey that still produces flour and meal.

Admission for Born to Be Shorn is $3 for adults, $2 for seniors (age 65+), and $1 for children ages 4 through 16. Children under age 4 are admitted FREE. Friends members are half-price with a current membership card.

Park Comm logoFor more information and directions to Cooper Gristmill in Chester Township visit morrisparks.net, or call 908.879.5463.

Morris County Park Commission, one of the region’s best park systems in the state of New Jersey, currently protects and maintains 18,600 acres at 38 distinct sites and a year-round calendar of events and activities.