SPRUCE HAVEN FARM is a pasture based sheep farm near Meaford, Ontario Canada.
It is home to the Soxophone Player and to Meaford Wool – the farm’s own brand of wool.
Spruce Haven Farm began in 1991 on 100 acre property that hadn’t been farmed in decades. The old barn fell down decades earlier and the fields were over-run by hawthorns, wild apples, wild pears, and dogwood.
It was decided to re-forest the property, since wild trees had already made a good start of it. 10 000 spruce seedlings were purchased from the government and individually hand planted.
The government office suggested sheep as good ‘weeders’ for the seedlings, since “sheep will not eat evergreens”. To make a long story short….. a small foundation flock of Columbia Sheep was acquired; they ate all the evergreens; Spruce Haven Farm was in the sheep business, and shortly thereafter Meaford Wool brand was born!
An arrangement was made with a neighbour to reclaim the front half of the property. The fields were de-bushed, ploughed, disced, and seeded to barley. Gradually the fields were seeded down to pasture.
According to a local old timer, the farm hadn’t seen a plough in at least 80 years and possibly more. That would account for the topsoil being two feet deep.
The old barn foundation is buried, a lot of fence put up, the house (built in 1890) renovated and added onto, and a small barn and a chicken coop were built. In the summer of 1997 the last of the front fields were seeded down and the back half of the farm subdivided and fenced into ‘rough grazing’ paddocks.
In 2005 ‘the wool shack’ was built near the house – a two story winterized outbuilding to house the wool workshop and storage. It is here socks are hand made on antique Circular Sock Machines, with natural and hand dyed Meaford Wool, and other artisan yarns in natural fibres such as merino, alpaca, and cashmere.
In Dec 2023 the livestock enterprise was retired following the death of our beloved guardian dog Bonnie. Considering our age, it was unrealistic to begin with a new guardian to help with the coyote pressure.
There is, however, a large enough supply of fibre remaining in inventory to lkeep the sock knitting going for years to come!