This month we are featuring a local CU farm woman—Cathe Capel. After spending some time out west in rural Wyoming, Cathe made her way back to Central Illinois to start what is now known as Seven Sisters Farm—a sheep and chicken farm, which she runs with her husband in Sidney, IL.
Not only does Cathe raise sheep and chickens, but she also occasionally raises turkeys, and grows her own fruits and vegetables. The sheep, a rare breed, are raised primarily for their wool and breeding stock, but those that don't meet breed requirements are sold for their meat. She enjoys spinning her own wool and sells yarn at the Champaign Urbana Spinners and Weavers Guild Sale and local farmers markets.
The farm sits on about 20 acres, 10 of which she leases to Midwest Agricultural Restoration Services for a woody perennial crop project. Keeping watch over these 20 acres, and all of her animals, are her three beautiful Great Pyrenees dogs - Emma, Andre, and Seamus. They keep things in order all day long!
I asked Cathe what she enjoys most about having her farm. Her reply: “Participating in the cycle of the seasons and of life along with all the other living things on the farm.”
“Evenings like this one fill me with peace and a deep sense of well being. The cool, musky air; the glow of the western sky just after sunset; the sheep fed and ready for the coming night (and winter) with their wooly coats and serene faces. This is by far my favorite time of year.”
Cathe works hard to ensure that all of her animals are happy and healthy; no easy feat for a farm of 20 acres! When the days are short, she spins beautiful wool yarn in her comfy living room overlooking the farmland beyond her home, and she provides her products to us at her home and through local farmers' markets such as the Downtown Champaign Farmers' Market sponsored by The Land Connection.
Thanks for having us, Cathe! You are a true Prairie Woman!
For more info on the farm or to schedule a visit, here is her website.