Garden Society – November Meeting Report

20th November 2018

Richard Fitzgerald opened the meeting on Wed 14th Nov 2018 with a warm welcome to all and new visitors. He then when onto to introduce our speaker, Paula Steer of Lily Warne Wool

Paula from Twig Farm Chudleigh went on to tell the story of how the farm developed into the business of today rearing the Grey Face Dartmoor sheep which are an endangered local breed and using their fleece to produce the Lily Warne of today. Paula explained that her great grandmother born in 1891 one of 9 children first started with this breed on Dartmoor and after marrying became Lily Warne .It wasn’t till 2010 that Paula’s son Lewis then 12 asked for 3 sheep which they named Beryl, Primrose and Mabel and that is where the story restarted with them using the Grey Face Dartmoor sheep and a few Blue face Leicester sheep. Lewis is the one with lots of innovative ideas to get the business going. Paula also explained that she was the original ‘knitted poppy’ lady, launched at Blundell’s school and raising £4,000 for the British Legion. They now have over 500 sheep on the farm and have appeared on TV shows such as Country File with Adam Hanson, ‘Back to the Land’ with Kate Humble, even on CBC television. They are also working with Michael Morpurgo on a project called ‘Farms for City Children Charity’ and created the Mauve Poppy for all the animals killed in conflict, and have gone on to win many awards such as ‘Rural Business Awards’. Paula has spoken at the British Design Centre and appeared in ‘Country Living Magazine. She had brought with her a selection of the wool which is spun from 80% grey face and 20% blue face to produce very strong Aran wool. All the subtle colours reflect the shades of Dartmoor and are named accordingly such as Postbridge Pink, Gidleigh Green, Moreton Mauve, Granite Grey and Bovey Blue and many more. It was a lovely story of family and tradition which was enjoyed by all.

The stem of the month was won by Liz Holme with a lovely Nerine flower.

Richard reminded everyone to put their names down for the New Year Lunch at Dainton on Wed 9th Jan 2019 at 1pm.

Our next meeting will be on Wed 12th Dec at 7.30pm. A talk by Susan Harle on ‘Bees and their Produce’ followed by mulled wine and mince pies.

Entrance fee; £2pp or £3pp non members. Please contact Chris Ashton sec 01626  364543 for any further enquiries

Last modified: 20th November 2018

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