Barn Swallow Farm
We’ve been happily raising Gotland sheep in Maine since 2013. Our flock is now happily settled into our new home on a former dairy farm in Topsham, Maine. Here’s our story.
After graduate school it was time for new jobs and new scenery, so we packed our bags, put the dogs in the car, and shipped the horses to Maine, where we had purchased a down-in-its-luck farm and set about its rehabilitation. A year later, we returned to the mid-Atlantic where we picked up our three foundation ewes—Hilda, Hilma, and Pippi—as well as a ram and a wether from our good friends at Tamarack Farm Gotlands.
Besides being well-suited to Maine's climate, Gotland sheep are curious, fun, and sociable animals our whole family enjoys interacting with. It’s not unusual to see our lambs running around with our children, and it’s always usual to see sheep noses in human pockets, searching for treats, begging for back scratches. Gotland sheep tend to lamb easily and mother well, they’re great milk producers, and lambs grow to market weight well on pasture. Their high-luster fleeces create soft, shimmery yarn for both the wool mill and hand spinners alike, and their close-grained, mild-flavored meat is prized; it was the main course at a recent Nobel Prize dinner.
Through upbreeding—adding animals with increasingly higher percentages of Gotland DNA—we meet the registration requirements of the American Gotland Sheep Society.
We have raw fleeces, roving, yarn, hand-woven blankets, and sheepskins available online and at the farm. Lamb is available seasonally on the farm as well.