Erickson’s Spectrum Farms starts spring with sheep shearing

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  • Apr. 4, 2015 8:00 a.m.

Dave Carlson shearing one of the sheep at Spectrum Farms.

One ram and six pregnant ewes are sporting a fresh new look after Fort Macleod, Alta., shearers Dave and Connie Carlson — on a shearing tour that will take them to Langley — visited Spectrum Farms on April 1.

The sheep are a recent addition to the Erickson Road farm run by the Kootenay Regional Association for Community Living (KRACL), an operation that includes eggs, greenhouse plants, garden vegetables and orchard fruit.

The goals of the non-profit farm are to generate income and provide employment for people with people with any disability.

“Eventually, we’ll have someone look after the sheep, like we have someone looking after the chickens,” said KRACL director Eric Kutzner.

The sheep, which live in a fenced-in shelter built by the Creston Valley Rotary Club, are Targhees, a bred developed in Boise, Idaho, with Merino-quality wool that will be sold to two local groups.

“The spinners around here are looking for high-quality wool,” said Kutzner.

Now starting its third year operating on the former Endicott Centre property, Spectrum is in the process of expanding. A food processing component will be added to make dehydrated vegetables and fruit, and a residence building is being renovated to include nine living spaces, with help from BC Housing.

Sponsored by the Southern Interior Development Initiative Trust and Columbia Basin Trust, Spectrum employed six people last summer, selling produce at a very successful market garden.

“They love being able to come to work and have something to do,” said Kutzner.

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