536: Chris McLaughlin on Raising Animals for Fiber.
Farming for yarn and more.
In This Podcast:
Not all farmers produce food. Some farm flowers, plants, or seeds. Others use their animal herd to produce fiber crops for yarn and textiles. Chris McLaughlin is a fiber farmer and educator who shares all about the fascinating world of raising goats, sheep, rabbits, and alpacas for their fibrous coats. Listen in to learn about angora, cashmere, and all the products from animal fibers. Then, gain insight into the fiber farming business, breed conservation, and spinning yarn.
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Chris is the author of eight books written about her life passions: gardening, small livestock, and the family farm. Her work can be found in Fine Gardening Magazine, Hobby Farm Home Magazine, Urban Farm Magazine, and more. Online, she’s been a staff blogger for vegetablegardener.com, About.com, and many more websites.
Chris is currently secretary of The Colored Angora Goat Breeders Association. She and her family enjoy an entertaining, and exhausting life in the Northern California foothills on their flower and fiber farm, Laughing Crow & Company.
Listen in and learn about:
- What animals you can use for fibers like yarn and felt
- Angora goats vs rabbits and the different products and colors that come from them
- Where cashmere comes from and how to harvest it
- Fiber processes from the animal to the final product
- Why shearing coats is hugely beneficial for goats and sheep
- Ways to use fibers for art and crafts
- Spinning, weaving, and balancing with yarn
- The lifespan of fiber animals
- Alpacas vs llamas and which is better for creating yarns
- Choosing farm animals for breed conservation
- Fiber farming in small spaces
- The reality of fiber farming as a business
As well as:
Her childhood memory – Multicourse Italian family meals and the energy and conversation.
Books written by Chris*:
How to reach Chris:
Facebook: Laughing Crow & Company