After considerable research, we have selected Santa Cruz Island sheep to join us on the property. The sheep have a rich and fascinating history and are listed as critically endangered through the Livestock Conservancy.
We value their small stature, drought tolerance and ability to thrive on marginal forage. Their somewhat delicate appearance belies their rugged nature. We believe our ranch, with its 50-75% slope, black rock outcroppings and maritime influence mimic the sheep’s home environment on the island. The sheep prefer to forage on our Coyote Brush and California Sage and provide an important fuel reduction management tool given our position on Mt. Tamalpais. We are currently utilizing rotational grazing to enhance pasture vitality and are employing regenerative soil practices.
Our starter flock of Santa Cruz Island sheep was purchased from Blue Oak Canyon Ranch and carries genetics from the Marion Stanley line. We have added sheep from the Paroski line to our small flock for diversity and wool production.
The Santa Cruz Island sheep contain genetics from Merino and Rambouillet providing a soft wool, with a high crimp and unusual elasticity. While the staple length is short and provides a challenge for experienced spinners, patience provides a magical outcome.
We are pleased to unveil Ovis Rustica, a collaboration with Blue Oak Canyon Ranch, offering a hand spun single source Santa Cruz Island yarn. From shearing to skirting, scouring, carding and spinning, the wool does not leave the ranch until it travels through the post to you. Lynn spins an aran weight two ply yarn in white (cream) and natural brown.
Please note: We have been overwhelmed and humbled by the interest in our yarn and there is currently a wait list. Please contact us for availability at [email protected].