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A Preview of the 2012 Farm & Fiber Tour in Washington County

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The 2012 Washington County Farm & Fiber Tour

Alpacas, Sheep and Much More

The 2012 Washington County Farm & Fiber TourThis weekend you’ll have the chance to partake in some fun, farm-centric activities at the 20th Annual Washington County Farm & Fiber Tour. Several of the county’s many fiber farms will open their doors (and barns) from 10am-4pm on Saturday and Sunday, April 28 & 29, offering a glimpse into the area’s farm-bred fiber industry. It’s also a great way to get outside and see the rolling hills and vast farmland that Washington County is known for. The tour is free and open to the public.

Washington County has had a rich history of farming; in the 19th century it was a main producer of sheep, primarily Merino sheep with their wool being a primary export. Over time, dairy farms would become a dominant industry, yet there has been an influx of other animals into the community, which has added greatly to the diversity of the area’s many farms as well as the tour.

The tour allows participants to drive throughout Washington County where you can learn about the area’s various farm animals, such as sheep, lambs, alpacas, llamas and rabbits. Farmers will also be on hand, offering talks and demonstrations on breeding and raising fiber animals, including shearing and fiber processing; some will also be demonstrating the art of spinning, dyeing, felting and weaving.

If you’re looking to do some shopping for unique products, you’ll have a great opportunity, as many of the farms will be offering fine products, such as soft shorn fleeces, roving for spinning, yarn and supplies for knitting and crocheting, fiber carding and spinning equipment, and handmade items such as felted scarves and knitted socks.

Some of this year’s participating farms include Ryder Road Farm, Parkland Alpaca Farm, Alpacas of Breezy Hill Ranch, Quarry Ridge Alpacas, Fiber Kingdom, Hartshorn Ridge Farm, and Ensign Brook Farm, among others. There’ll also be plenty of activities and projects for kids that range from needle felting workshops to drop spindle spinning instruction to tips for evaluating and selecting fleeces for fiber projects.

For a full schedule of activities, a map of the tour and additional information on the participating farms, visit

Dave Bower is Co-Publisher of The Free George.

The Free George is the online magazine and visitors’ guide of Upstate NY, covering things from Albany to Lake Placid, including Saratoga, the Lake George region and the Adirondacks. Check out our new City Blogs section for our extended coverage areas as well.

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