Cozy wool should be the foundation of every Minnesotan’s wardrobe at this time of year. Why not make your own wool mittens? Andi Anderson, program coordinator at Gale Woods Farm in Minnetrista, says her team focuses on wool this time of year because Gale Woods Farm raises sheep.
The farm’s sheep flock are mostly a Finnish Landrace and Corriedale mix, whose wool is good for felting and spinning. Internationally known fiber artist Wendy Johnson, who lives in Orono, helps students of all skill levels knit a pair of wool mittens during the farm’s February fiber workshops. Johnson designed a dye lot for this farm specifically, explains Anderson. “She came up with a red that’s our barn red.” The farm will sell the wool with the colors that Johnson designed for them.
Gale Woods Farm also hosts an annual Valentine’s Day dinner and sleigh ride (perfect for wearing your new handcrafted wool mittens!) on February 13. Anderson says it’s one of her favorite events of the year. “It’s a quaint little date-night event with Common Roots catering. They source whatever they can from Gale Woods Farm.” Anderson says the trails are groomed, with ice luminaries are set up for the sleigh ride. “It’s usually a very good night to see stars, because it’s so dark this time of year.” Additionally, Gale Woods Farm, partnering with the Outdoor Recreational School, offers an annual women’s weekend retreat February 19-21. The Outdoor Recreational School plans activities like yoga and cross-country skiing, while Gale Woods Farm provides the nourishment. “They teach women about eating seasonally and the benefits of eating locally,” says Anderson.
To register for a February fiber workshop, Valentine’s Day dinner or women’s retreat, visit the website here.