News for those who live, work and play in the Santiam Canyon

Meet the Lambies returns

Contributing writer for The Canyon Weekly

A springtime favorite at Wolston Farms is back after a two-year hiatus.

Wolston Farms owner Ian Coldicott holds the newest Lambie.

A part of the farm’s annual open house, Meet the Lambies Day offers folks lots of little lambs to pet, hold and cuddle during the six-hour, family-friendly event held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. this Saturday. Wolston Farms is located at 39562 Hwy. 226, a mile east of Scio. Admission is free, and masks will be required inside the barn. 

“This event has been going on for 15 years now, but we couldn’t hold it in the past two years,” said Ian Caldicott, owner of the popular sheep farm with wife, Raven O’Keefe. “It’s a chance for people to see and pet newborn lambs, watch herding demonstrations, and this year, pet puppies.”

Even though the event is typically determined by the weather, Caldicott said, “Even on very wet years, we have seen at least 150 people. If the weather is good, we can get as many as 500.”

He cautions parking is limited and suggests carpooling to the event.

“We are very excited to be able to open our farm to visitors again this year,” he added. “We have people that have been many times. Recently we started to get visitors that came when they were kids and are now bringing their own kids. It will be good to see some old familiar faces again.”

The couple raises more than 150 sheep for wool and to sell to others looking to start or expand a flock or looking for sheep for herding dog training. They also raise and train Border Collies to help manage the flock as well as run in competitions.

“We also have chickens and sell eggs locally,” O’Keefe said. “Ian offers lessons, training and clinics for herding dogs and owners interested in dogs for farm work, just for fun or trialing.”

O’Keefe takes pet portraits, and both uses their artistic talents to make wool sculptures, shepherd’s crooks and walking sticks. Sheep and dog products, note cards and drawings, coffee mugs, clothing line, and articles about life on the farm are available through their website. Products are sold online, at arts-and-crafts shows, at sheepdog trials, and at the farm. 

Every night, “sheep chef” Caldicott takes a half hour to prepare the next day’s breakfast for the sheep. His task is to take a small mountain of vegetables – pumpkins, zucchini, spaghetti squash and more – harvested from the garden and turn it into manageable chunks for the sheep to eat. 

“We care a great deal about our animals and our land,” O’Keefe said. “We take every step possible to ensure that our animals are happy and healthy.”

As well as Meet the Lambies Day and other events, Wolston Farms offers visits to schools, group homes, tour and other groups. Each tour and presentation is tailored to the group and a typical visit lasts about an hour. Cost is $25 for groups from 10 to 50 visitors.

For more information, call 541-971-0372, email [email protected], or visit www.wolston.com or Wolston Farms on Facebook.

***

Meet the Lambies

10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

April 9 

Wolston Farms

39562 Hwy. 26, Scio

 

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