Located in northern Baltimore County, Maryland Feederbrook Farm was bought in 1970 by Jan and Michael Van Bibber as a fixer-upper. They worked tirelessly to bring back many components of the farm to its formal glories such as the main farmhouse, corn crib, and barn. During the 70’and 80’s they ran a small cattle farming operation but found that was not quite what they wanted to do. Sheep didn’t come onto the farm until the mid 90’s when the tenants brought them on. After taking over the sheep operation from the tenants, there was a long journey learning about sheep care and fiber processing. Feederbrook incorporated in 2009 after putting a business plan together that would make the farm a sustainable and viable farming operation providing income and support to future generations of family farmers. Today Jan Van Bibber and Lisa Westra work together collaborating on programs, products, and projects to make Feederbrook a destination for fiber and yarn enthusiasts alike.
Lisa Westra, the dyer
It all started at shearing time in the Spring of 1995. The sheep on the farm were being boarded at the time and were not ours. I have always adored animals but fell in love with sheep. I think it was their gentle nature and curiosity. I was the only kid at Hood Collage with a spinning wheel in the dorm. This was a time before Youtube so I made many mistakes with learning to spin, ply and dye wool. My first experience dying was with Koolaid. I did not know you needed to use the sugar-free kind. That resulted in some very sticky yarn. I have also made many Shepherd friends along the way that have taught and inspired me and I am thankful for them. I will continue to try and educate and promote the joy of raising sheep and the fiber arts.