Grass Fed Lamb
In the mid 1990’s the farm transitioned from cattle to sheep. This was done because after New Zealand had lost government subsidies Ontario lamb could compete with imported grass fed lamb. We started with a sturdy Dorset, Rambouillet and Finn cross growing the flock to 250 sheep. For extra income John sheared sheep and has hence passed the craft down to Natalie. It was in the late 1990’s that the family started to look at milking sheep and became a member of the fledgling Ontario Sheep Dairy association. At that time there was nowhere in Canada to process sheep’s milk and the association was poised to start shipping milk to Minnesota for processing. From their we would get the finished product back to start marketing in Southern Ontario. We had the great fortune of working with Chris Buschbeck and Axel Meiste of Wool Drift Farm. They were the leading force of this concept and the first to bring the Friesian milking breed to Ontario. Unfortunately it was the US government that stopped us in our tracks refusing to allow Ontario sheep milk to enter the United States.
It was not until some 15 years later that we started to milk sheep commercially to fill the growing demand from the growing number of artisan dairies. Our milk was sent to Monforte Dairy in Stratford and the family marketed the finished cheese at the Erin Farmers Market. Though we have yet to establish our dairy at Calabogie we still have our original flock of Friesen and Lacaune crossed with Romney. The Romney was added to the flock to produce a milking ewe that is hardier and does well on grass. Though for meat there are much better breeds, we believe like dairy cows more marbling results in a better flavour profile. Though this is a hunch we could not produce enough lamb to satisfy our markets; a testament outstanding flavour.
This year we have bred our ewes late, which means they will be lambing on grass in late June and July with market lambs ready late November and December.
Sold per side or full lamb at $8.00 per lb. A whole hanging lamb will be approximately 30 to 40 lbs.