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Breeding Ewes & Rams

About Us

History of Stark Hollow Farm Press MediaClick for Press & Media

Stark Hollow Farm began as a vision to return to the land in the mid 2000's while we were living in Oakland California, both having spent many years working in farm montagecorporate America. Our yearning  led us east to Vermont, Laura's home state, in 2006. In 2008 we purchased our first 3 Icelandic ewes and a ram lamb which we raised, along with a small flock of heritage breed laying hens, on a small plot in Starksboro. The farm was named for our location on Big Hollow Road in Starksboro! We soon added a couple of feeder piglets and began to dream of expanding our flock beyond what our small plot could carry. The property in Starksboro was sold and in 2010  the farm took up a leased residence on an old hillside farm on the western slopes of the green mountains in Huntington Vermont.

In that rugged landscape and rather extreme climate, we expanded our flock to 22 breeding ewes and began breeding, through artificial insemination, our first pure bred Tamworth sows.  In late 2014, we purchase an old farmstead with 78 acres in Danville Vermont where we built a large timber frame barn and now maintain a flock of approximately 55 Icelandic Sheep, along with a small herd of Tamworth pigs and our flock of heritage breed laying hens. Having a craving for beef and fresh milk, and desire to continue to promote the heritage breeds, we added our first American Milking Devon cow who gave birth to her first calf in 2015. In 2017, we purchased two AMD heifers and an AMD bull.

In early 2016, we obtained certification as an Animal Welfare Approved farm and obtained a grass fed certification through AGW for our lamb and beef. We look forward to refining our operation focusing on added specialty meat products, an expanded wool and fiber products line and a more diversified wholesale and retail operation. Future initiatives include possible organic certification of our fields and education workshops and webinars.

Our Mission

Our mission remains to manage a small diversified farm in sync with nature, producing healthy, sustainable farm products from animals whose quality of life is our passion. Stark Hollow Farm raises registered pure bred Icelandic sheep, registered pure bred Tamworth pigs, purebred Tamworth feeder piglets, and layer chicks and hens from our beautiful farm in Danville, Vermont. We offer Icelandic sheep for sale to small and large breeders. We offer healthy, delicious meat products, eggs, gorgeous Icelandic pelts and fiber products, and functional livestock shelters and equipment. We place an emphasis on the conservation aspects of raising heritage and primitive breed animals and focus on animal welfare rather than high production.

We practice agroecology, which is a traditional way of using farming methods that are less resource oriented, and which work in harmony with society. Our animals have been selected as suitable for the climate and geography of Vermont, and we pay special attention to soil, plant and nutritional needs of these beautiful animals. We maintain land use optimization and sustainability through rotational grazing, promoting symbiotic livestock relationships, and employing methods of sustainable building and resource development to support our mission.

We invite you to join us on the journey. Follow us on facebook here: Stark Hollow Farm Facebook Page or on Instagram: SHF Instagram!


 Vincent "V" Riva

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Shepherd Vincent came to the United States from Italy in 1989 to study. He obtained a civil engineering degree from Loyola Marymount in 1995 and a masters degree in civil and environmental engineering from MIT in 1997. While growing up in Italy, he spent weekends and summers attending to the farm animals on his uncle's farm in the Italian countryside. In attendance were horses, cows, pigs, goats, and food crops of rice, corn & soybeans.

Today he still works as an engineer, applying his skills to his farm to produce utilitarian, yet artistic & sustainable items for use on Stark Hollow Farm. His philosophy of holistically managing a small pastoral farm infuses his work every day at Stark Hollow Farm. To see more information about his handcrafted modular livestock shelters, rabbit hutches, chick brooders, pasture gates, fencing panels, creep feeders, and more visit Products & Services.


 Laura Smith-Riva

lolamb-smallLaura was born and raised in Vermont. She obtained a bachelors degree in communication from the University of Southern Maine and has lived and traveled extensively in the United States as a business manager and entrepreneur.

She brings her own personal experience growing up on a small homestead farm in northwestern VT where her family raised beef Shorthorn, chickens, geese, goats, and pigs. She acts as general farm hand, manages the business end of things and is the excited assistant during lambing. She is the resident gardener and she has a deep love and respect for the land and the rural Vermont way of life.

Laura is also an Archetypal Dreamwork Practitioner, working with clients internationally, as well as an artist and writer. Visit her dreamwork website at www.archetypaldreamworks.com.


We are members of the following oranizations:

AWA Logo Final Animal Welfare Approved
   
isbonalogo Icelandic Sheep Breeders of North America
   
clrclogo Canadian Livestock Registery
   
vsgalogo Vermont Sheep and Goat Association
   
livestockconservlogo The Livestock Conservancy
   
VGFA Vermont Grass Farmers Association

 

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Meats For Sale

Stark Hollow Farm is Animal Welfare Approved offering Certified 100% grass fed Icelandic lamb and forest raised heritage breed pork products. Our meat animals are raised on our homestead farm here in Vermont in a sustainable and humane way free from hormone or growth promoting drugs, antibiotics, and without the use of chemicals on our fields. Our hay is purchased from a local certified organic farm.

The Stark Hollow Farm Difference!

1) All our animals are 100% pure heritage breeds, registrable with their breed association -- not a heritage breed mixed with commercial breeds. While this makes for fast more efficient growth, it doesn't provide protection for the purity of the breed. We take pride in growing your meat slowly following old traditions and in preserving the genetics of these beautiful breeds!

2) Our pigs are outdoors & rotated to new areas year round (with access to warm cozy shelters, of course) -- most pasture raised pigs are outside in the warm growing season only, being indoor the rest of the year.

3) Our sheep are intensively rotated on pasture (moved to fresh grass every ~3 days) -- many grazing animals are left eating in the same pasture for months.

4) Our sheep are 100% grass fed -- a lot of grass fed meat is supplemented or finished on grains or cereal crops.

5) All meat comes from animals born & raised on the farm -- many places offer meat from animals that they purchased from another farm. We raise & care for their parents also!

6) Our farm meets rigour qualifications for our Animal Welfare Approved certification and our AWA grass fed certification. No high production farm can meet these standards, which address space, outdoor access, breeding ages, housing, and many other important aspects that lead to the safety, comfort, health and well being of animals.

Where to find our products:

State of Vermont Workplace CSA ~ St. Johnsbury, Montpelier, Barre, Burlington - CSA drop off program at locations throughout the state

Burlington Winter Farmer's Market ~ Memorial Auditorium, every other Saturday November through mid April, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m (note: we are not at the summer market)

Peacham Summer Farmer's Market ~ On the green in Peacham Village, every Thursday from June - September 4 p.m. - 7 p.m.

My Farmer's Market ~ farm stand 23 Stone Road, South Ryegate, VT, cooperative farm stand open daily

Direct from the farm. ~ Please email or call us and stop by 345 Currier Road, Danville

For more information on our field to fork® meats or to see farm-direct pricing, follow the link below:

100% Grass Fed Icelandic Lamb

Forest Raised Heritage Breed Pork

CSA Meat Shares!

 

Forest Raised Pork

Forest Raised, Heritage Breed Tamworth Pigspork chops

We raise our pigs the old fashioned way: in communion with nature, in forest lots. Our heritage breed feeder pigs enjoy a varied diet of pasture and woodland goodies, organic garden vegetables, grains, apple drops and other fruits, and organic grass hay. Unlike many large commercial producers, we do not use antibiotics or the growth promoting drug Ractopomine, or any other drug or hormone. Our animals are raised humanely, rotated throughout the season in woodland lots, provided with roomy, protective shelters, and lots of love and care. We believe their general happiness in their surroundings and the love and care they receive translates to flavorful and delicious meats.

Please e-mail your order to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

2017-18 Retail Meat Prices:    Click here for CSA Meat Shares         AWA LOGO new

ITEM Price Per Pound
Hard Salami 3.5-4 oz package SOLD OUT!
$5.00/pkg
Pork Sausage - Links (maple breakfast, mild, sweet It., hot It. kielbasa, garlic/red wine, bratwurst, chorizo) $11.00
Pork Sausage - Bulk (maple breakfast, mild breakfast)
$8.50
Pork Sausage - Patties (breakfast) $9.50
Pork Sausage - Mini Links (breakfast)
$11.50
Ground Pork
$7.50
Pork Tenderloin
$20.00
Picnic Shoulder Roast SOLD OUT!
$9.00
Boston Butt Shoulder Roast SOLD OUT!
$9.00
Pork Sirloin Cutlet
$12.00
Bone-in Pork Chops $11.00
Country Style Ribs SOLD OUT!
$9.00
Baby Back Ribs SOLD OUT!
$9.00
Spare Ribs
$9.00
Ham Roast (Smoked & Cured) SOLD OUT!
$11.00
Ham Steak (Smoked, Uncured - nitrate free) SOLD OUT!
$11.00
Ham Steak (Smoked & Cured) $11.00
Sliced Bacon (Smoked, Uncured - nitrate free) SOLD OUT!
$13.00
Sliced Bacon (Smoked & Cured) $13.00
Bacon Ends (Smoked & Cured or smoked, uncured - nitrate free)
$13.00
Smoked Pork Hocks
$7.50
Sliced Smoked Pork Jowls
$13.00
Pigs Feet or Fresh Hocks $5.00
Pork Organs (liver, kidneys, heart, tongue) $5.00
Pork Bones (raw for soups or pets) $1.50
Leaf Lard
$3.50
Pork Lard (back fat) $1.50

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grass Fed Icelandic Lamb

lambchopsAGW Certified 100% Grassfed Icelandic Lamb

Our lamb is certified 100% grass fed and free of antibiotics and growth hormones. Our method of rotational grazing and the natural weaning of our lambs keeps our flock healthy and produces a wonderfully mild, tender and tasty product. Our lambs go to market at approximately 6-7 months of age and are sold USDA inspected to individuals who appreciate a higher quality lamb meat product that is locally & humanely raised. Our animals are Animal Welfare Approved and our meat is Certified 100% Grassfed. Our customers also appreciate that when they purchase Icelandic lamb, they are sponsoring the continuance of a heritage breed animal, one of the oldest breeds in the world. We also on occassion have meat from slightly older animals, labeled "sheep", for which there is no price difference. We currently do not offer mutton.

Link to some great recipies: Great Lamb Recipies, including quick and easy! Here is a link to some secret and revealing recipes from Iceland! Iceland Lamb.

For more info on the different types of lamb cuts, follow this link: Lamb Cuts

Prices are per pound. Once your order is submitted, we will contact you and can send you an invoice showing the total cost.

Retail Lamb Price List shown below. Please e-mail your order to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

2017-18 Retail Meat Prices: Click here for CSA Meat Shares Shares  AWA combined sheep

ITEM PRICE PER POUND
Leg of Lamb Roast (boneless)
$18.50
Leg of Lamb Roast (bone-in)
$17.25
Boneless Shoulder Roast $16.00
Loin Roast $18.00
Rack of Lamb $21.00
Leg Steak/Chop (2 per Pkg) (SOLD OUT)
$17.25
Loin Chops (2 per Pkg)
$21.00
Rib Chops (2 per Pkg)
$18.50
Shoulder Chops (2 per Pkg) $15.50
Shanks
$12.50
Kabobs
$16.00
Stew Meat (SOLD OUT)
$15.00
Ground
$13.25
Sausage (links, Sweet or Chorizo)
$15.75
Sausage (bulk, sweet)
$13.75
Riblets
$9.50
Lamb Bones
$4.00
Liver
$7.25
Kidneys $6.50
Heart or Tongue
$5.75

Icelandic meat, produced from this heritage breed animal, is considered a gourmet meat.

"Icelandic lamb is the best I've ever tasted. It's very pure, non-fatty meat." ~ Robert Wiedmaier, chef-owner of Marcel's and Brasserie Beck in Washington DC in Food and Wine, March 2010

"Free-range, grass-fed Icelandic lamb is exceptionally fine-grained and mild tasting; it is prized by chefs..." ~ Sauveur Magazine, October 2009

 "The Icelandic lamb has soft texure and mild flavor, that fits well for all cooking methods." ~ Bjiarni Gunnar Kristinsson, Head Chef at Grillis Restaurant in Reykjavik, Gold medal winner at the Culinary Olymipcs in 2008

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Grass Fed Devon Beef

cooked steak1AGW Certified 100% Grassfed Devon Beef

Our beef is certified 100% grass fed and finishedand is free of antibiotics and growth hormones. Our cattle are rotationally grazing during warm months and fed organic hay in cold months. Calves get to stay with their mothers drinking her deliciously healthy milk until they are big and strong which produces a wonderfully mild, tender and tasty beef product. Our beef is sold USDA inspected to individuals who appreciate a higher quality meat product that is locally & humanely raised. Our animals are Animal Welfare Approved and our meat is Certified 100% Grassfed. Our customers also appreciate that when they purchase beef from American Milking Devon cattle, they are sponsoring the continuance of a critically endangered heritage breed animal.

Link to some great recipes: Great British Beef Recipes.

For more info on the different types of beef cuts, follow this link: Beef Cuts

Prices are per pound. Once your order is submitted, we will contact you and can send you an invoice showing the total cost.

Retail Beef Price List shown below. Please e-mail your order to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

2017-18 Retail Meat Prices                                                                       AWA combined sheep

ITEM PRICE PER POUND
Ground Beef
$10.00
Beef Stew Meat
$11.00
Beef Stir Fry Strips
$12.00
Beef Kabobs
$15.00
Bone-In Rib Steak
$18.00
Beef Tenderloin
$27.00
T-Bone Steak
$18.00
Porterhouse Steak
$18.00
New York Strip Steak (Top Sirloin)
$19.00
London Broil (Top Round)
$16.00
Sirloin (Round) Tip Steak
$16.00

 

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Icelandic Fleece & Roving for Sale

Currently we have raw fleece available direct from the farm and roving available for order direct from the website, farm, or find us at the Burlington Farmer's Market.

Raw, unwashed fleeces here are shown as samples only. Actual fleeces will be similar, with limited veggie matter. Available in all natural colors shown in our sheep. $35/per fleece.

Grayrawfleece whiterawfleeces
Grey Fleece (raw) Creamy White Fleece (raw)

Icelandic Roving for sale. Beautiful natural colored roving for spinning and needle craft. Available in colors shown below in by the ounce or save 5% with an 8 oz bag.

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Grey Roving

1 oz/$1.75

plus applicable tax (VT only)& shipping

  8 oz/$13.00

plus applicable tax (VT only)& shipping

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 Black Roving with some silver threads

1 oz/$2.25

plus applicable tax (VT only)& shipping

  8 oz / $17.00

plus applicable tax (VT only) & shipping

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Creamy White Roving

1 oz/$2.25

plus applicable tax (VT only) & shipping

 8 oz / $17.00

plus applicable tax (VT only) & shipping

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 Creamy Beige Roving

1 oz/$2.00

plus applicable tax (VT only) & shipping

  8 oz/$16.00

plus applicable tax (VT only)& shipping

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 Moorit (Brown) Roving

1 oz/$2.50

plus applicable tax (VT only) & shipping

 8 oz / $19.00

plus applicable tax (VT only) & shipping

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Natural Colored Sheep

The designation “natural colored” doesn’t refer to a specific breed of sheep, but several breeds. Basically, natural colored sheep are sheep that are not white. Thousands of years ago, all sheep were natural colored. Like many animals, their coats blended in with the colors of their native environment, to help protect them from predators. When the idea to dye wool different colors became popular, breeders began to want white sheep, rather than natural colored ones (white wool is easier to dye a whole variety of colors). Because of this, natural colored sheep became
less common. Today, natural colored wools are desired by craftspeople who do handspinning, weaving and felting. The natural colors – which include black, gray, silver, brown, beige, red and blonde – are considered beautiful without adding dyes.

Gorgeous Colors and Patterns

Icelandic fleeces come in a wide variety of colors and are prized by hand spinners. The 17 colors and patterns these beautiful animals come in include black, silvery black, blue to lavender greys, silvery grey, whites, tans, beige, champagne, moorit (the brown variations), including deep dark mahogany reds, rusty browns, strawberry blondes. The actual color genetics are a bit more complicated, but but these words give you an idea of what to expect from the Icelandic sheep breed.

Superb Fleece

The Icelandic fleece is dual coated, with a fine, soft undercoat called thel and a longer, coarser outer coat called tog. The tog fiber, with a spinning count of 56-60 and a micron count of 27-30, grows to a length of 6-8" in six months. It is lustrous, strong, water- and wear-resistant, and sheds off the rain and weather. Thel is the soft downy undercoat, with a spinning count of 64-70 and a micron count of 19-22, growing to a length of 2-4". The thel provides the loft for the outer coat and insulation for the sheep. Tog grows from the primary hair follicles and the thel from the secondary follicles. Tog is a true wool, and is not a kemp or guard hair. The combination of the two fibers on the sheep gives superb protection from the cold and wet. Icelandic fleeces are open and low in lanolin. The weight loss when washed is significantly less than many other breeds.

 

"The versatility of the wool, the ease of spinning and the wide variation of tones and colors are a true delight to handspinners, and put Icelandic wool into the exotic or premium category. It is also known as one of the best fleeces for felting, which is fast gaining popularity in the craft community."
~ ISBONA - Icelandic Sheep Breeders of North America

 

Icelandic Wool Comforters

Deliciously warm 100% Icelandic wool comforters. Tufted into a lovely natural cheeseclothe style fabric, these comforters are sure to keep you warm on the coldest of nights. Use with your favorite comforter cover. Our wool comes from Animal Welfare Approved and certified 100% grass fed pure bred Icelandic sheep, so you can be assured that this product comes from animals whose well-being is our passion.

wool comforter

 

King Size Comforter 90" x 108"................$225.00 (plus tax for VT residents and applicable shipping)   
 
 Queen Size Comforter 90" x 90"..............$185.00 (plus tax for VT residents and applicable shipping)  
 

 

"After all, the wool of a black sheep is just as warm."
~Ernest Lehman, American Writer

Vermont Homestead Products & Services

Simple, sustainable livestock panels & structures for the homesteader

Our hand-made, modular livestock shelters, structures, and panels are durable, lightweight and easy to assemble and use. These modular structures are built using a combination of purchased wood products (from a local mill where feasible) and wood milled from the trees on our land. This low-cost sustainable method of construction has saved us lots of money and is very pleasing to the eye.

As homesteaders, we value our rural lifestyle and are intrigued by the ingenuity of farming in a way that existed before the days of heavy machinery, pesticides, chemicals, and industrial equipment.

Homestead farmers have a tradition of being creative and frugal. Instead of spending hundreds of dollars on heavy metal panels or pressure treated wood (loaded with toxic chemicals), let's us build your small livestock structures, using our wood or wood from your land. This old fashioned, low maintenance method will save you money. Not only are many of these items functional, but they are creative works of art as well!

ModularShelter3.jpgExterior Newer wood shows panels added one year later

ModularShelter3.jpgInside set up for lambing

Modular, Moveable Livestock Shelter

This livestock shelter is built using a panel system for all walls and the roof. Flooring is also removable and optional. The whole system maybe disassembled and moved.The two structures sit facing each other with a roof overlap to provide maximum space for animals.The roof is constructed of Ondura roof panels which are extremely durable to the Vermont winter with its heavy snowfall and high winds.

The shelter photographed here houses 25 sheep during winter months. Additional wall units will be added to each side with gated panels (shown below) to separate out lambing ewes in the spring.

This is a vertatile and creative option for the small homesteader who has limited access to structures. It's mobility limits tax liabilities as well!

 


ModularShelter1.jpgModular Panels Outside

sheepshelter3.jpgInside before panels added

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Chick Brooder

This chick brooder houses up to 25-30 chicks comfortably. Opens at top for easy access. Top roof unit accommodates heat lamp to keep brooder at 95 degrees necessary to feather out your chicks. Light weight, portable and pleasing to the eye, it can be moved out on pasture/yard to finish out the birds as they grow. Side door has attachment for a pasture run. Weasel/predator proof.

 chickbrooder1.jpg  OtherFarmAnimals/chicks.JPG  OtherFarmAnimals/chickbrooder6.jpg

 

mobilecoop.jpg

Portable Chicken Coop-Mobile with Easy Access Nesting Boxes

Chicken tractor has nesting boxes, roosts made from real tree limbs, and built-in manure trays for easy cleaning. Tractor can be pasture rotated by using the 2 wheeled cart. In the winter, the metal mesh door and openings can be be insulated with straw or wool and covered with wood for protection from the elements. Optional water can & feed trough.

 

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Modular, Portable Rabbit Hutch-Mobile

These modular rabbit pens provide for easy access for feeding, watering, and cleaning and they offer protection from winter drafts and wetness. The modular hutch-mobile attaches to either a cage, normally used in winter, or to a run for three season foraging. This allows for maximum flexibility in the structure's use from season to season and including breeding.

The trays shown below the cages are for cleaning. Rabbit poop makes great compost. The creative homesteader finds many uses on her farm for items which might normally be thrown away. An old dog bowl makes a great rabbit pellet feeder and an old nursery tray is modified to make a hay feeder.

 rabbithutch.jpg  rabbithutch2.jpg  rabbithutch3.jpg

 

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Hand-Made Gate

 
Made of local wood (picked up just a few feet from where the gate is located) and fitted with standard metal gate fittings and latches. Gate can be constructed to fit any size and shape opening (i.e. no more messing around with fences and posts to fit expensive machine fabricated gates). Built lovingly with mortise & tenon joint construction which has been used for thousands of years by woodworkers.May be built to custom sizes.

lambing_jug.jpg

Hand-Made Panels

 
Modular panels are constructed lovingly with hand-carved mortise & tenon joints and made of local wood (hand harvested from the property they sit on). These panels can be used for livestock, gardens, pets, or whatever else you can think of (e.g. panels are used for a lambing-jug in photo to left). Modular system allows for panels to be opened or expanded as as you wish. May be made to custom sizes.

garden.jpg

Raised Garden Vegetable Beds with Optional Manure Amendment

For the gardener..If you'd like, I can also provide a FREE manure amendment to mix with your soil for increased fertility. The manure amendment come from composting of Stark Hollow Farm's sheep, rabbits and chickens, who are raised naturally, on pasture and woodland lots, and without chemicals.

creep_feeder.jpg

Lamb Creep Feeder Panel

Lambs need access to hay, grains, minerals and water not long after they are born. A creep feeder allows the lamb to pass through, but not the adult animals. This ensures lambs get adequate supplies without competition or being crushed by adult sheep. This creep feeder has removable and adjustable rods for fast growing lambs covered with PVC "roller" sleeves to allow continued easy lamb passage as lambs grow.

pig_house_on_pasture.jpg

 

Portable Piglet House

This small homestead structure is designed for use on pasture or in woodland areas and is made using wood milled from our land. Designed to be portable for rotational foraging purposes of younger pigs, the structure is light weight.  It is made of pine and the boards are assembled adirondack style. Additionally, there is no floor and the roof and sides are covered with a thin, light aluminum sheeting. One door running the full length of the house may be propped up to provide additional shade on hot pasture days. Filled with straw, this structure makes a cozy home for a couple of pasture raised pigs even on chilly spring or fall days. As pigs grow, a more durable structure would be required, but this is a great way to get them started.

 pig_house_construction.jpg  pig_house_complete.jpg

 

 
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Piglet Warming Box

This simple, useful structure is designed to keep newborn piglets warm and to offer them a place to get away from mama. Inexpensive, easy to build and completely portable.

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The "Round House" Winter Sheep Shelter

This is a custom design, created by Vanessa for winter sheltering of a 10 - 12 animal flock of sheep.  The low roof line and berm style lay-in of this pole structure make this a cozy, wind free shelter.  It is made from small trees taken off our land. The roof of this low impact round house is reciprocating, with a starting pole and each pole subsequently laid on top and tied with recycled baling twine. Once the center support is removed, the roof settles into itself supporting the poles. To strengthen it, we wove saplings around and through at various intervals. Ultimately, the sides could be cobbed and the roof canvased.  Click on the photos below to see close up pictures.

RoundHouse/rndhouseskyview.JPG RoundHouse/inside_round_house.JPG RoundHouse/rndhousecomplete.jpg  RoundHouse/round_house_roof_rafters.JPG
       
RoundHouse/round_house_peg.JPG  RoundHouse/rosevrndhouse.jpg RoundHouse/round_house_rafters.JPG

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Links & Resources

 Here are some of our favorite links:

 
ISBONA - Icelandic Sheep Breeders of North America: A great resource about the breed, its history, characteristics and uses.
 
Maryland Small Ruminant Page: Excellent resource for flock management including disease, lambing, etc.
 
Women's Agricultural Network - UVM Extension : resource for Vermont women who are pursuing farming as a career choice.
 
UVM Center for Sustainable Agriculture:  Technical assistance for production, processing and marketing.
 
Vermont Sheep & Goat Association:   For those of us in VT raising sheep & goats!
 
Poisonous Plants in Vermont: A helpful guide, including drawings, of the plants in VT to watch out for!
 
The Control of Internal Parasites in Ruminants: A great article from Ecological Agriculture Projects on natural rememdies for internal parasites.
 
The Joy of Handspinning: Resources for handspinners, includes videos of hand carding and spinning.
 
ISBONA FaceBook page: Great place for discussion, advice and photos of our favorite breed!

 

 

 

 

Contact Us

 
 
Here's how to get in touch with us:
 
Telephone: 802-734-0180 (cell)
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

We look forward to hearing from you soon!

Stark Hollow Farm  ~  Danville, VT  ~ 
Laura ~ 802-734-0180 (cell), Vincent ~ 802-535-0400 (cell)
Registered Icelandic Sheep in Vermont
 
 

 

Front Page

Welcome to Stark Hollow Farm!!

Field to fork: products produced in communion with nature®.

Stark Hollow Farm is an independent family farm whose mission is to create and manage a small farm in sync with nature, producing healthy, sustainable farm products from animals whose quality of life is our passion. Stark Hollow Farm raises registered pure bred Icelandic sheep, registered pure bred Tamworth pigs, purebred Tamworth feeder piglets, and layer chicks from our beautiful farm in Vermont. We offer Icelandic sheep for sale in Vermont to small and large breeders. We offer healthy, delicious meat products, eggs, gorgeous Icelandic pelts and fiber products, and functional livestock shelters and equipment. We place an emphasis on the conservation aspects of raising heritage and primitive breed animals and focus on animal welfare rather than high production. Our farm is certifed Animal Welfare Approved, a rigorous 3rd party certification program.

We practice agroecology which is a mindful way of using farming methods that are less resource oriented, and which work in harmony with nature and society. Our animals have been selected as suitable for the climate and geography of Vermont, and we pay special attention to soil, plant and nutritional needs of these beautiful animals. We maintain land use optimization and sustainability through rotational grazing, promoting symbiotic livestock relationships, and employing methods of sustainable building and resource development to support our mission.

"To understand a meadow, you really need to sit down in one for a while."
~ Gene Lodgsdon, The Contrary Farmer

Check out our blog! Stark Hollow Farm BlogAWA combined sheep

Contact us:

Telephone: 802-734-0180 (Laura's cell) or 802-535-0400 (Vincent's cell)
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Φ  Registered Icelandic Sheep for Sale in Vermont!  Φ

Sheepskin Pelts & Horns

Luxurious, gorgeous Icelandic sheep skins in a variety of colors. The Icelandic pelt is very soft and flexible due to its combination of thel and tog. The warm undercoat combined with the long, soft hairs of the outer coat make these fleeces special. They are used in many craft applications, but also make great throws, rugs, car seats, etc. A truly special gift for yourself or that special someone who appreciates quality, luxury and sustainably raised farm products.

Notes on measurements: We measure the pelts on the tanned hide side. For length, we measure from the center of the "neck" to the crotch between the "legs" of the pelt. This means that the pelt will actually appear much large as the legs extend further. For width, we measure at the belly. The length of the the tog or "hair" will actually add up to 6" all around to the over all size when viewed from the fleece side.

Pelts are not uniform in color, dimension or shape and therefore no two pelts is alike. Expect some variations in color, shape, size, dimension. Pelts may have small holes visible only on the tanned side from the cutting during processing. We've tried to note those which have small blemishes or holes. These do not effect the overall beauty and functionality of the pelt. If you have questions about measurements or staple lengths or anything else, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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LUXURIOUS ICELANDIC LAMB & SHEEPSKIN PELTS 
C-14 silvergey 27x34

C-14 Gorgeous butterscotchy silver/grey lambskin with thick thel. Staple length of fleece is 2-4". Size, measured on tanned side, is approximately 26" W x 35" L. Washable with instructions.

Price is $185 plus applicable tax (VT customers) & shipping.

SOLD!!
H-14 H-14 Super soft lambskin. Uniform in shape with beautiful whitish grey coloring. Staple length of fleece is 6-8". Size, measured on tanned side, is approximately 28" W x 32" L. Washable with instructions.

Price is $160 plus applicable tax (VT customers) & shipping.

Note: small hole visible on tanned side only.

AC-14 AC-14 Lovely deep black sheepskin. Uniform in shape. Staple length of fleece is 6-8". Size, measured on tanned side, is approximately 25.5" W x 34.5" L. Washable with instructions.

$160.00 plus applicable tax (VT customers) & shipping

O-14 O-14 Super soft lambskin. Beautiful whitish grey coloring with black. Staple length of fleece is 6-8". Size, measured on tanned side, is approximately 22" W x 33" L. Washable with instructions.

$185.00 plus applicable tax (VT customers) & shipping

Note: small hole visible on tanned side only.

 SOLD!!
P-14 P-14 Very large, deep black sheepskin. Staple length of fleece is 6-8". Size, measured on tanned side, is approximately 32.5" W x 40" L. Washable with instructions.

$255.00 plus applicable tax (VT customers) & shipping

Note: thicker hide, a couple of small holes visible on tanned side only.

 SOLD!!
Q-1335x25.5blacksmall bald.a Q-13 Black sheepskin with chocolate highlights. Staple length of fleece is 6-8". Size, measured on tanned side, is approximately 25.5" W x 35" L. Washable with instructions.

$110.00 plus applicable tax & shipping

Notes: small bald patch visible on fleece side...this pelt is good for crafting or pet bed.

 SOLD!!
U-14 U-14 Super soft lambskin. Lustrous and flashy silvery grey with black. Staple length of fleece is 6-8". Size, measured on tanned side, is approximately 26" W x 33" L. Washable with instructions.

$185.00 plus applicable tax (VT customers) & shipping

Note: very tiny hole visible on tanned side only near edge.

SOLD!!
V-14 V-14 Lovely deep black sheepskin. Staple length of fleece is 6-8". Size, measured on tanned side, is approximately 24" W x 33" L. Washable with instructions.

$160.00 plus applicable tax (VT customers) & shipping

Note: one hind leg slightly longer than the other, could be trimmed even...or not!

AD-14 AD-14 Super soft lambskin. Beautiful antique white coloring. Staple length of fleece is 6-8". Size, measured on tanned side, is approximately 28" W x 31.5" L. Washable with instructions.

$185.00 plus applicable tax (VT customers) & shipping

SOLD!!
W-14 W-14 Lovely deep black sheepskin. Staple length of fleece is 6-8". Size, measured on tanned side, is approximately 25" W x 30" L. Washable with instructions.

$160.00 plus applicable tax (VT customers) & shipping

X-14 X-14 Large and unique burnished creamy heather sheepskin. Dark brown edging and brown at "hips". Truly one-of-a-kind! Staple length of fleece is 6-8". Size, measured on tanned side, is approximately 30.5" W x 38.5" L. Washable with instructions.

$255.00 plus applicable tax (VT customers) & shipping

Note: tiny hole visible on tanned side only.

SOLD!!
Y-14 Y-14 Lovely deep black sheepskin. Staple length of fleece is 6-8". Size, measured on tanned side, is approximately 26" W x 37" L. Washable with instructions.

$160.00 plus applicable tax (VT customers) & shipping

SOLD!!
Z-14 Z-14 Lovely deep black sheepskin with elegant white edging. Staple length of fleece is 6-8". Size, measured on tanned side, is approximately 28" W x 35" L. Washable with instructions.

$185.00 plus applicable tax (VT customers) & shipping

Note: one hind leg slightly longer than the other, small hole visible on tanned side only.

SOLD!!
A-15 Large dark grey sheepskin with white edging along sides and bottom. Staple length of fleece is 6-8". Size, measured on tanned side, is approximately 27" W x 39" L. Washable with instructions.

$260.00 plus applicable tax (VT customers) & shipping

SOLD!

B-15 Very large sheepskin. Super soft white. Staple length of fleece is 6-8". Size, measured on tanned side, is approximately 24" W x 40" L. Washable with instructions.

$210.00 plus applicable tax (VT customers) & shipping

Note: two small holes visible on tanned side only.

  SOLD!!
C-15 Soft creamy white lambskin. Staple length of fleece is 4-6". Size, measured on tanned side, is approximately 19" W x 28.5" L. Washable with instructions.

$150.00 plus applicable tax (VT customers) & shipping

Note: small hole visible on tanned side only.

 SOLD!!
D-15 Rare brown lambskin. Staple length of fleece is 6-8". Size, measured on tanned side, is approximately 22" W x 30.5" L. Washable with instructions.

$275.00 plus applicable tax (VT customers) & shipping

Note: small hole visible on tanned side only.

SOLD!!

F-15 Soft light grey lambskin. Staple length of fleece is 6-8". Size, measured on tanned side, is approximately 23" W x 32" L. Washable with instructions.

$175.00 plus applicable tax (VT customers) & shipping

Note: small hole visible on tanned side only.

G-15 Soft light grey lambskin. Staple length of fleece is 6-8". Size, measured on tanned side, is approximately 20" W x 32" L. Washable with instructions.

$180.00 plus applicable tax (VT customers) & shipping

SOLD!!
H-15 Super soft lambskin. Light grey with brown highlights along bottom edge. Staple length of fleece is 6-8". Size, measured on tanned side, is approximately 28" W x 31" L. Washable with instructions.

$180.00 plus applicable tax (VT customers) & shipping

I-15 Very soft grey lambskin with center line darker grey/black. Staple length of fleece is 6-8". Size, measured on tanned side, is approximately 18" W x 30.5" L. Washable with instructions.

$150.00 plus applicable tax (VT customers) & shipping

Note: uneven bottom at leg -- can be trimmed even... or not!

J-15 Darker grey lambskin. Staple length of fleece is 6-8". Size, measured on tanned side, is approximately 23" W x 30" L. Washable with instructions.

$135.00 plus applicable tax (VT customers) & shipping

Note: uneven at top visible mostly on tanned side.

K-15 Super soft creamy grey lambskin. Staple length of fleece is 6-8". Size, measured on tanned side, is approximately 22" W x 31" L. Washable with instructions.

$150.00 plus applicable tax (VT customers) & shipping

Note: uneven bottom at leg -- can be trimmed even... or not!

SOLD!
L-15 Very soft burnished creamy heather sheepskin. Brown edging and highlights. Staple length of fleece is 6-8". Size, measured on tanned side, is approximately 23" W x 37" L. Washable with instructions.

$235.00 plus applicable tax (VT customers) & shipping

Note: tiny hole visible on tanned side only.

SOLD!!
N-15 Very soft white lambskin. Staple length of fleece is 6-8". Size, measured on tanned side, is approximately 18" W x 29" L. Washable with instructions.

$135.00 plus applicable tax (VT customers) & shipping

Note: tiny hole visible on tanned side only, slightly uneven bottom at leg.

SOLD!!
R-15 Super soft cream white lambskin. Staple length of fleece is 6-8". Size, measured on tanned side, is approximately 21" W x 28" L. Washable with instructions.

$170.00 plus applicable tax (VT customers) & shipping

Note: very small hole visible on tanned side only.

S-15 Light grey lambskin. Staple length of fleece is 6-8". Size, measured on tanned side, is approximately 20" W x 31" L. Washable with instructions.

$150.00 plus applicable tax (VT customers) & shipping

Note: soemwhat uneven bottom at leg.

H(O)-15 Beautiful burnished lambskin. Black edge spots and undercoat below the white topcoat. Staple length of fleece is 6-8". Size, measured on tanned side, is approximately 26" W x 28" L. Processed chemical free -- UK certified organic.

$240.00 plus applicable tax (VT customers) & shipping

Note: small hole visible on tanned side only.

I(O)-15 White lambskin. Staple length of fleece is 6-8". Size, measured on tanned side, is approximately 25" W x 31.5" L. Processed chemical free -- UK certified organic.

$260.00 plus applicable tax (VT customers) & shipping

SOLD!
J(O)-15 Large grey sheepskin with brown highlights at edges. Staple length of fleece is 6-8". Size, measured on tanned side, is approximately 25" W x 34" L. Processed chemical free -- UK certified organic.

$265.00 plus applicable tax (VT customers) & shipping

K(O)-15 Soft grey brown sheepskin. Staple length of fleece is 6-8". Size, measured on tanned side, is approximately 24" W x 33" L. Processed chemical free -- UK certified organic.

$275.00 plus applicable tax (VT customers) & shipping

SOLD!!
2012-27x26-shortbadger-S W-12 Beautiful sheared lambskin. Light brown with dark brown edging and darker hip coloring. Staple length of fleece is less than 1". Size, measured on tanned side, is approximately 26" W x 27" L. Washable with instructions.

Price is $120 plus applicable tax and shipping.

SOLD!!

 

ICELANDIC HORNS

Gorgeous Icelandic horns available in various sizes and colors. These are just samples. We have many, many more. Please inquire.

One large set of horns from an adult ram available for $45.00 each or $85.00 for the pair.

EmberHorns

 

Smaller sized horns are $15 each or $25 for the pair. The picture below is representative and we have other colors (ranging from blonde, gray, brown, & black) and sizes. Please inquire. More photos soon.

Hornsblklamb

Please send and e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Customer Testimonials

Here's what our customers have to say...

"Your pork chops brought back memories of my childhood. They were delicious!"
Steve S., Hall Home Place. Vermont Ice Cider, Isle La Motte, VT

"Everything in our box was delicious. The crown roast and the leg roast were unbelievable. We are not normally lamb seekers, but the Icelandic lamb is excellent."
Nancy G., Huntington, VT

"Just wanted to thank you again. The roast was incredible. We are going to need more, some chops and ribs..."
Chef Amy L., Burlington, VT

"The lamb was terrific..."
Eliot L., Huntington, VT

"I bought delicious lamb from you...Your mom says you now have excellent pork...please send me a price sheet and I'll place an order!"
Leslie N., Jericho, VT

"I cooked one of your pork roasts for some friends the other night. It was divine!"
Nat G., Huntington, VT

"I slow cooked some of your Icelandic lamb stew meat and it was the best lamb I have ever had!"
Gwen P., Burlington. VT

"Great lamb..... we had the roast last night for company! Thanks so much."
Celine C., Starksboro, VT

"I cooked the boneless leg of lamb last night when I had some friends over for dinner. It was the best lamb I have ever eaten. Thanks!"
Joan M., Montpelier, VT

"Just cooked lamb for the first time ever...marinated in a mixture of olive oil, dijon mustard, rosemary, thyme, salt & pepper, and then pan fried the chops...WOW! Yum! I thoroughly enjoyed the chops! Awesome flavor!"
Marni W., So. Starksboro, VT

Farm Tee Shirt

Stark Hollow Farm logo tee shirts available for sale at $13.99 (plus shipping at $5 in US, contact us for international shipping). Show your proud support of a local farmer with this beefy 100% cotton white tee in sizes S-XL.

 

 

Sizes


teeshirtfront

Front

teeshirtback

Back

 

 

 

 

 

 

Icelandic Horn Ceremonial Rattle

Stark Hollow Farm is proud to offer these amazing hand crafted Icelandic sheep horn ceremonial rattles. The first rattle was made for ceremonial use by Laura on her first vision quest in Death Valley, California and was named Dragon Dream Rattle. Scroll down to see Icelandic sheep horn rattles for sale. Contact us for more info or photos.

Dragon Dream Rattle
not for sale

 

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This style of rattle offers the user a more personal experience because each rattle offers unique ancestral symbols and sacred objects including carved bone, various types of beads, small figurines and other objects found in nature. Each rattle include some form of bell to enhance the sound it makes and provide a deeper call to spirit.

Rattles and bells are some of the oldest instruments and shamanic tools known to man. They date back to ancient times and were used to ward off “bad” spirits and call in “good” spirits. These important musical instruments trace an incredible four thousand year journey into many modern spiritual practices. Virtually all modern religions use some form of ringing bells to call us to spirit and to call the spirits into our sacred spaces and temples of worship. Today, rattles are used along with drums and other percussion instruments for ceremonies, healing rituals and in dance and music making circles.

Each of our rattles is made from an Icelandic sheep horn which is a by-product of animals raised humanely by us on our farm in Vermont under a rigorous Animal Welfare Approved certification. Icelandic sheep are a primitive breed of sheep which we raise because we love them and to help preserve the genetics of these beautiful animals.

Horns come mainly from young Icelandic rams harvested for their meat. The horns and sheepskins are retained and processed so that each part of the animal is honored and used. Each horn is lovingly cleaned, polished and prepared to receive its garnishment. Some horns may have a small chip or "blood" spot towards the base, this is a mark of virility earned through the ram's natural battles with each other. The essence of the warrior spirit is inherent in these marks. The curved shape of the horn itself is deeply archetypal as a lunar symbol connected to the waxing and waning of time in the great cycle. A collection of various objects infuse each horn with an artistic, decorative and sacred sound. Because Icelandic sheep are natural colored sheep, horns vary in color; each one is unique.


Blossom Rattle
$110.00

blossom rattle

All of nature is enticed into the flower's proliferation...Is anything in nature more sensual than the blossom of the flower? ...Visible above yet rooted in the invisible below, the flower symbolically bridges the manifest and unseen worlds, realms of latency and potentiality ..We flourish in concert with the flower. It is the emblem of the hidden seeding place within ourselves supported by multiple, partcipating energies."

~ from The Book of Symbols, Reflections on Archetypal Images

This gorgeous rattle will accompany on your journey towards your own blooming. The rattle is light in the hand with a nice sound and beautiful colors. The carved bone focal piece is the blooming flower. Use this rattle to call in the spirits when engaging in creative activities, to cleanse sacred spaces and bring in new and positive energies. 

Materials include: Creamy colored Icelandic ram horn, leather, brass beads, red stone beads, glass, ceramic, and clay (including one with yak bone inlay) beads, bone beads, brass bells, antique bronzed metal bells, sea shell, carved bone flower blossom focal bead.


Dragon Rattle
$125.00

 Dragon Rattle

“If the sky could dream, it would dream of dragons.”~ Ilona Andrews, Fate's Edge

The dragon rattle is perfect for those exploring the The Path of the Dragon or those wanting to unlock the mysteries of the elements. The Path of the Dragon traces its meaning to the Celts who believed that where the Dragon tread were places of mystical power and energy. These paths are referred to as ley lines, energetic lines which criss-cross the globe. The Dragon is a powerful archetype and guardian of the earth and all its beings. The dragon embodies the elements as the winged serpent who lives in the womb of the earth and breathes fire. Use this rattle when you are looking to work with the tension of opposites or to bring together the beneficial aspects of two or more elements. The dragon is known to be the guardian of wealth and the gate keeper to other realms. Follow the sound of this rattle into the realms of your inner life to discover the treasure buried within.

Materials include dark grey Icelandic ram sheep horn, leather, brass beads, sea glass bead, ceramic, and clay beads, bone beads, brass bells, antique bronzed metal bells, sea shell, silver celtic trinity knot bead, carved bone dragon focal bead. Small ram fight marking near base offers carries the strength and virility held in the spirit of this horn rattle.


Serpent Rattle
$130.00

 

 
Serpent Rattle2
 
 “You are guardian of a treasure,/Oh, just like a sleeping serpent/And you shall see, I shall make you/Spin around like that sleepy snake./Listen to me.” – Rumi

The Serpent is one of the oldest archetypal symbols, present in cultures world wide as going back to ancient times. The energy of the snake is associated with the life force, transformation and healing. It's poison facilitates alchemy, symbolically destroying to make way for new life. The snake hears through it's skin and is "particulalry sensitive to low frequency vibration and tremblings of the earth linking it with secret subterranean, ocular mysteries of knowledge." (from The Book of Symbols, published by the Archive for Research in Archetypal Symbolism). One may use this rattle when working with kundalini energy, chakra work, and all types of healing work.

Materials include dark grey Icelandic ram sheep horn, leather, painted wooden beads, brass beads, ceramic, glass and clay beads, bone beads, antique bronzed metal bells, sea shell, brass celtic knot bead, carved bone snake focal bead & large pottery sun bead. This rattle has an extra cord of beads. Sound will be the same as the blossom rattle above.


Winged Goddess Rattle
$135.00

 

Winged Goddess Rattle2

Haven't you felt this in dreams or perhaps in reality…That your wings are ready, just strong, turgid even, and ready to, deeply anxious to soar? ~ Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés.

May the Goddess guide you on your journey! This rattle was created with the Goddess Rhiannon in mind. Rhiannon is the lunar Welsh goddess of inspiration. Her name means “Great Queen,” and serves as a muse for poets, artists, and royalty. She is also a goddess of transformation, easing the dead into the afterlife and carries their souls upon her white horse. She is a shapeshifter, and will often appear as a bird, animal, or through a song. This rattles carries the symbol of the winged goddess, the bird that soars. Additionally included is a "holey" stone, also known as a faerie stone or Odin's stone.  The faerie stone is a stone with a nature made hole in it. These special stones are used for healing and protection and enhance psychic abilities.

Materials include creamy colored Icelandic ram sheep horn, leather, brass beads, painted wooden beads, ceramic and clay beads, bone beads, brass bell, antique bronzed metal bells, sea shell, brass celtic trinity knot bead, carved bone winged goddess focal bead and special faerie stone bead.

Press & Media

For media inquiries please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by calling (802) 734-0180. Here is a sampling of some press stories about Stark Hollow Farm and our products.

big v   VT Digger, March 2018 ~ Laura Smith & Vincent Riva: Toward more humane, responsible farming

 FW CERT GUIDE 2017 PIX2 4

 Farm Animal Welfare Certification Guide, January 2017 ~ Stark Hollow Farm Case Study

 

 

 

 urbanexodus Urban Exodus, May 2016 ~ Story on our move from Oakland, CA to Vermont

vpr cafe logo  VPR Cafe, May 27th, 2016 ~ What's the Difference between Lamb's Meat and Sheep's?

 BFParticle cropped  Burlington Free Press, April 1, 2016 ~ An Education in Lamb at Danville Farm

 

GMEdibles  Green Mountain Edibles, May 14, 2013 ~ Homestead 802: Stark Hollow Farm

 

Vt Epicure  The Vermont Epicure, March 6th, 2013 ~ by Sheila McGrory-Klyza

 

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