This is Bev. She’s a wonderful lady who cares as much about the health of her flock as she does the quality of their fiber. We had a chance to chat as we loaded the wool from the barn into her pickup, and she told me a bit about the lineage of her Polypay flock.
She has driven down to southern Idaho a few times over the years to purchase rams for her flock at the US Sheep Experiment Station, which, by the way, is where the Polypay breed was developed in the 1970’s. By purposefully choosing rams with low micron count fleeces, her entire flock now sport this wonderfully bouncy wool with a delicious, well-defined crimp.
By the time we had the pickup loaded, Martin was back with his homemade baling machine. Not being a very mechanically inclined sort myself, I am impressed. It’s cool. Martin took a hydraulic thingy and built a box that holds a wool bale bag, then mounted the entire thing on a trailer.
Lo and behold, a mobile wool baler!
This baler should be patented. Maybe it is, I dunno. A space saving device, for sure, this little machine packed 23 fleeces into a nylon bag that measures little more than a cubic meter in volume. And it could have held more.
And that was that! We said goodbye to Bev and drove a short half hour home to Moscow. Martin unloaded it in the driveway; I am still in love with this little machine-on-a-trailer.
Soon my precious bale will be off to our own Idaho woolen mill for skirting, washing, picking, carding, and the long-awaited spinning!
Up next: Why Polypay?