Cascade Farmstead Sheep
The breed of sheep that we raise is a variety envisioned and created by Ronda Jemtpe in Washington State. She was looking for a smallish breed that would be easier to handle for her as she got older. She wanted hardy, easy-lambing sheep that could turn grass pasture and hay into meat without much care. She wanted sheep that would shed their wool in the spring to avoid the work of shearing. She also wanted tasty meat that every cook would enjoy turning into artisan meals. She chose to cross select Icelandic sheep to select Soay sheep to reach her goal of creating the perfect homestead breed. Although Ronda was not able to continue her work of managing a registry for this breed due to health issues the breed lives on thanks for a number of dedicated breeders in the US.
We chose to have sheep on this farm to add meat to our diet. Each spring brings a lambing season and each winter brings a day of butchering. For many it's hard to imagine butchering animals. I want you to know that it is not an easy task. I know each animal and I work hard to make choices that honor its spirit and to create as stress-free a life as possible. For that reason we do not take our sheep to a slaughterhouse for butchering. Shipping is scary for them. Having them arrive at a strange place with the feeling of fear and sounds of other scared animals is not an option to me. They are butchered here, quietly, swiftly and with respect and gratitude. Their life force gets transformed into human life force as they nourish us and other friends. It is part of the cycle of life, similar to our hens eating plant material and grubs and creating fresh eggs. The parts of the sheep that we don't eat are used to feed the livestock guardian dogs that guard all our livestock.
I find that I feel healthier when I eat meat in my diet. I am lucky in that we have the pasture and willingness to grow our own meat rather than support factory farming.
We manage a small flock of these sheep and each year sell some breeding stock as well as some meat lambs. Farmstead Cascade sheep come in a variety of colors, fleece types and body types because they are a landrace breed with a healthy amount of genetic diversity within the breed. They are also a beautiful breed. Please write or call us if you are interested in finding out more about this breed of sheep or asking if we have any breeding stock for sale.