Queens County Farm invites visitors ‘baaa-ck’ to annual sheep shearing celebration in May

Sheep shearing is ‘baa-ck’ at Queens County Farm Museum. Photo courtesy of Queens County Farm Museum

Next month, the Queens County Farm Museum is hosting several springtime activities, some of which include the woolier members of the community.

On Saturday, May 8, visitors are welcome to the farm’s annual Sheep Shearing Special Admission Day to celebrate the flock’s spring haircuts, when the Cormo, Cotswold and Romney sheep get ready for the warmer weather.

From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., farmgoers will learn about the cycle of fiber production from sheep shearing to the creation of fabric. Experts will demonstrate the art of wool spinning and weaving accompanied by the live bluegrass tunes of New Orleans-influenced band Mama Juke. The farm will set up crop circles under a canopy of trees to mark socially distanced spaces for revelers to enjoy the festivities with their own picnic blankets.

Sheep shearing dates back to around 3500 B.C., which is when humans learned to spin wool to create clothes and other homemade products. But more importantly, the practice is essential to sheep’s welfare by keeping them from overheating in the summer and preventing parasites from growing on their bodies.

On the same day, the farm is also hosting the Con Edison Ecology Booth, which features the ever-popular Adopt-A-Worm Composting Program that teaches about home composting. The booth will also distribute free woolly craft kits for “fleecy fun.”

Queens Farm employees will provide guided tours to teach about the land’s 324-year history and regenerative farming practices. Visitors can purchase food from East Coast Street, Tacos and CBao Asian Buns while sipping on a cold one from Queens’ own Rockaway Brewing Company.

To commemorate the day, patrons can visit the Farm Store to purchase season fresh harvests, eggs, teas, yarn and an assortment of seedlings for at-home gardening.

Later in the month on May 15 and 16, visitors can return for the American Indian Craft & Food Market from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. The free event is sponsored by the Thunderbird American Indian Dancers and features authentic Native American art, jewelry, ceramics, textiles and food.

Sheep Shearing Special Admission Day is on May 8 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m at 75-40 Little Neck Pkwy. Admission is $12 for adults and $8 for children 12 and under. Advanced tickets are required and will be limited and staggered per NY Forward’s COVID-19 Safety Guidelines. Visitors must wear face coverings and maintain social distancing.

Purchase tickets and learn more at queensfarm.org.