Our little 5 acre farm is nestled on the mountainside overlooking the Slocan River in the beautiful Slocan Valley, British Columbia. We have lived here since 2003, and soon enough we had three sets of able hands to help bring our first laying hens and piglets to the homestead.
It was such fun cuddling chickens, collecting eggs, and watching the piglets grow in leaps and bounds so we decided to add more critters to the menagerie. And that is exactly what we did in 2014...we acquired a pair of goats, a dozen turkeys, and a small flock of fibre sheep with a faithful guardian dog, Clover.
It has been a dream come true to have our children grow up on a farm, through all the lessons that entailed ~ both the exciting ones like the arrival of our very first lamb or snuggling little newborn puppies or brushing our angora bunnies, as well as the harder lessons that are inevitable on a farm.
Today, our little farm is bursting with a flock of 15 to 20 fibre sheep, 2 guardian dogs, 2 horses, a flock of layer hens, 2 house dogs, 2 house cats, and in the warmer months we raise 100 broiler hens.
We have built all the livestock buildings ourselves, mainly from wood harvested on our property or from the mountainsides surrounding us...including hand-split cedar shakes on the roof of the barn and feeders. Everything has a slightly wonky tilt to it, but we haven't heard any complaints from the residents.
While we began with the idea of having fresh, organic eggs for our family, we grew to the size that unofficially qualified us as a small hobby farm. A name was needed, someone reckoned, and we spent the better part of a few years debating various suggestions. At the time, one of my children was studying Norse mythology, and we landed on a name we all agreed upon...Gladsheim Farm. Derived from the Old Norse word for "happy home" or "happy farm", Gladsheim was also the hall of the Aesir gods in Asgard. With a heavy dose of Norwegian blood running through most of our veins, and living in the shadow of the Valhalla Mountains of British Columbia, Gladsheim Farm just fits.
Recently, we have also built a studio for Wool Maiden, the business that Jules created in 2016 as a result of surplus fleeces from our flock of sheep. Today, Wool Maiden offers mill spun and hand spun yarn from homegrown fibre that is naturally dyed from plants and mushrooms mostly found on the farm or in the ditches and forests nearby. In the shop, you will also find handwork kits for creatives of all ages, as well as merchandise like homemade soap, buttons and stitch markers.
As a family, we strive to ensure that our farm is indeed a happy home for all of the creatures that live here....both the four legged and the two legged alike.