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People who know yarn know Bridget Patrick. Bridget raises her own sheep, and she turns their fleeces into a variety of different yarn products, ranging from handspun and milled skeins of yarn to finished clothing.
Over the years, Bridget has marketed her yarn and yarn products at area shows. She has also been a vendor at the Meridian Farmers Market and the old Lansing City Market downtown.
Bridget now is entering a new phase of her business, marketing her wares directly from her own on-farm yarn shop. Her shop is housed in a converted chicken coop on her Happy Goat Lucky Ewe fiber farm on Dobie Road, between Sandhill and Holt roads on the outskirts of Mason near Okemos.
“It has been crazy busy getting the shop ready,” said Bridget. On the morning of her inaugural open house, sheep shearer Dave Owen arrived to shear some of her flock.
Future plans include developing an on-farm class where participants can buy a fleece from her and then learn how to prepare it for milling into yarn. Another class will show people how to make their own hand-painted yarn, using flowers grown in Bridget’s dye-ing garden.
Bridget’s new endeavors are part of a growing back-to-the-land movement that combines agri-tourism with agri-education. Not only do people want to learn more about where their food and fiber comes from, they want to support local growers they know and trust. Creative growers like Bridget are recognizing new opportunities to educate consumers who often become loyal customers.
In the video below, Bridget talked about her flock and her yarn business last winter.
A new generation of Michigan farmers is exploring opportunities to engage in agri-tourism and agri-education. In this video, Jimmy Spencer of Pond Hill Farm outside Harbor Springs talks about how he got started. His farm is a full-scale attraction where families can hours feeding the animals and watching pig races, before enjoying lunch in the Garden Cafe that features fruits and vegetables grown on the farm.
In July, Jimmy shared the story of his farm and his hoophouse.