By Robyn Hosey AthearnWe’re excited to introduce these beautiful, soft blankets made with wool from our Island flock of Navajo Churro sheep. Their fleece has been spun into thread and hand loomed by master weavers in the Hudson River Valley.
Navajo Churro sheep are the United States’ oldest domesticated farm animals, brought to New Mexico by Spanish explorers in the 1500s. This rare breed was almost wiped off the map more than once, dwindling to fewer than 500 sheep by the 1970s. Thank goodness for preservation efforts, because we have come to adore our Churros for numerous reasons.
A multi-purpose breed that can be used for meat, milk or wool, Navajo Churro sheep have a calm demeanor and are trusting of humans. The ewes are wonderful mothers to their lambs, protective and caring. Churros also are generally a thrifty animal: These sheep are able to fend well for themselves if they need to.
While these are all great qualities, the main reason, above all others, that we fell in love with the Navajo Churro breed is their unique fleeces. You could never get away with the expression “they were like a flock of sheep” with Churros, because no two animals in a Churro flock are at all the same. In one flock the fleeces can range from dark chocolate brown to snowy owl white, from rainy day grey to midnight black or from caramel toffee tan to steel blue. You can have Churros that are “polka dotted spotted” or “fluffy zebra striped” as our children would say. Half the fun of lambing season is literally getting to see who comes out.
Few things are as precious as watching baby lambs frolic and play in the springtime, and sharing that experience with your own children is second to none. It brings us great joy to share with you a little of the warmth our flock brings us. So from our hearts to yours, please enjoy your handwoven blanket made from our flock’s glorious wool fleeces. Just like the Churros on our farm, no two blankets are the same. Also, thank you for your support in keeping a great animal and breed around on Earth a while longer.
To learn more about Navajo Churro sheep and their sometimes tragic history, please read this article from Slow Food USA »»