Along the western edge of the Sacramento Valley, in Solano County just north of Vacaville, lives a flock of more than 60 rare-breed Jacob sheep tended by shepherds Robin and Dan Lynde of Meridian Jacobs. For 10 years, one of the essential ingredients in the success of Meridian Jacobs has been its Farm Club. Robin says that members range in age from their early 20s to late 70s and have diverse back grounds, but share both “a common interest in learning about and supporting a local farm and the love of animals and fiber craft.” Many are handspinners and knitters, but some just come to learn more about the beautiful white and black spotted sheep. The income generated by the club’s dues help support all facets of farm life, and members provide some physical help, too, both on the farm and at shows.
The On-the-Farm Farm Club (OFFC) is the original Farm Club, and people close enough to take part in farm maintenance and club activities make up the bulk of its membership. This past May, Robin launched a virtual spin-off of her popular club. Cyber Fiber Farm Club (CFFC) gives those who live too far away to visit in person an opportunity to learn more about the sheep and day-to-day life on a small-scale farm.
OFFC offers different tiers that allow for various levels of participation. The perks of membership include Meridian Jacobs logo swag, such as T-shirts, tote bag, or apron, a discount on classes taught by Robin, and regular email updates on lambing, farm happenings, and events. There’s also an exclusive members-only page on the farm’s website. CFFC members receive a tote bag, a signed copy of the book Raw Material by Stephany Wilke, Jacob fleece samples, and yarn with instructions for their choice of a woven scarf or knit hat, plus all of the email updates and access to the members-only page. CFFC members are invited to visit the farm for a tour when they’re in the region.
Farm Club members get a behind-the-scenes peek at what it takes to go from sheep to skein. Robin says, “People want to have a farm connection and be around the animals.”
For more information about Meridian Jacobs, Farm Club, and Cyber Fiber Farm Club, visit www.meridianjacobs.com. This article was originally published in the Fall 2019 issue of Spin Off.