Just miles down the road from my family’s farm you’ll find Hidden Valley Farm & Woolen Mill in Valders, WI.
Carol Wagner wanted to own a sheep, wash its wool, spin its wool and knit the yarn into a sweater. So in 1985, Carol and her husband, Paul, got Bucky. Fast forward more than 30 years, and today the Wagners have a flock of around 400 sheep.
Prior to delving into sheep full-time, Carol was a German teacher at Notre Dame Academy in Green Bay. After reading an article in a magazine devoted to wool spinning about the Coopworth breed of sheep, Carol fell in love with the breed. The Coopworth breed was developed in New Zealand in the 1950s-1960s.
Hidden Valley Farm & Woolen Mill not only raises sheep to produce meat, but also makes yarn from their Coopworth sheep. Their woolen mill, constructed in 1997, houses the fiber-processing aspect of their business. They specialize in unique and beautifully blended rovings, with many stunning and one-of-a-kind colors. These rovings are perfect for spinning and felting.
They also offer custom carding services, quilts and bats, yarns, raw wool, sheepskins, and sheep. At the woolen mill you’ll find the store front on the first floor, with classroom space and additional shop items on the second floor. The shop is an old barn with beautiful barn board.
On my tour Carol and Paul walked me through the entire process of processing wool and other fibers. From washing the raw wool, dyeing it, to even carding the wool, they take pride in their mill and helping their nationwide customer base process their wool too.
Thank you Carol and Paul for your expertise and for letting me tour your fantastic mill and farm. I encourage you to check out your local woolen mill to learn about this unique industry and perhaps take up a new hobby!