Howell Living History Farm will hold its annual “Shear Fun” event on Saturday, May 6, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The program features sheep shearing, sheep herding, and related arts, crafts and demonstrations.
Eugene Sheninger of Rockaway Township will highlight the program with sheep herding demonstrations at 11:30am, 1:30pm and 3:30pm. Sheninger will use veteran collies, along with younger collies in training, to work the flock with methods that farmers have used for centuries.
Sheep-shearing demonstrations will take place at 11am, noon, 2pm and 3pm. Shearers will use hand shears and children can crank a set of circa 1900 “automatic shears,” the precursor to electric shears. Throughout the day, visitors can meet twin lambs and try their hand at spinning wool. Different wool products and natural fleeces will be on display and for sale for visitors to see how all resources are utilized on the farm. The Hunterdon County Rug Artisans Guild will provide a rug-hooking demonstration and display as well.
A children’s craft program, “Corn Cob Sheep,” will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Cost is $3; groups (eight or more) must preregister.
In the event of rain, all shearing and wool processing will be held inside barns and the farm’s Visitor Center. Herding demonstrations will be held outside, weather permitting, with times adjusted accordingly.
Howell Farm is owned by the County of Mercer and operated by the Mercer County Park Commission. It is located on Valley Road, just off Route 29, in Hopewell Township. The GPS address is 70 Woodens Lane, Hopewell Township, NJ 08530. For additional information about the farm, call (609) 737-3299 or visit www.mercercountyparks.org or www.howellfarm.org.