“We’d like to buy some eggs, and maybe your house”—On Becoming a Sheep Farmer

19 January 2022
By Karri Munn-Venn
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“Hey Karri, you need to look at this.”

It was the perfect Saturday afternoon: chores done and kids happily entertaining themselves. I was cozy indoors, listening to a book and knitting, on a cold, grey February day.

I looked up to see a real estate listing on my husband Trefor’s iPad. It had been many months since we’d talked about moving from our Ottawa home, but within minutes we were in the car and on our way to western Quebec.

Forty-five minutes later, captivated by the vast, snow-covered hillside, we spotted the “eggs” sign, pulled over, and knocked on the front door of a simple wooden bungalow.

“Hi!” I said, “We’d like to buy some eggs, and maybe your house.”

About Karri Munn-Venn

Karri Munn-Venn is the co-owner and head shepherd at Fermes Leystone Farms (pronounced LAY-stone) located on unceded Algonquin territory in west Québec. She shares this piece of paradise with her fabulous husband Trefor, two teenage sons, 10-year-old daughter, and city-dog Kaz. Karri is a knitter, teacher, and aspiring knitwear designer. In 2017, she created Phoenix Fibre Arts Studio (now part of Leystone) from a love of knitting and a desire to promote thoughtful, environmentally responsible making. Off-farm, Karri works as a climate policy analyst with a national not-for-profit organization. Leystone Farms was established in 2020 at the edge of the Gatineau hills. Clearly identifiable by the beautiful hillside vineyard, Leystone is also home to 10 varieties of chickens (rainbow eggs anyone?), a sweet flock of Southdown Babydoll sheep, Scottish Blackface/Valais Blacknose sheep, and their guardian llama Loretta. Everything at Leystone is guided by a desire to nurture. We seek to nurture the land, the plants, and the animals, using sustainable, regenerative practices. It is also important that we nurture our family, our friends, ourselves, and our community. Everyone is welcome here.

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