Erika and Johan Winterlia have about 200 sheep on their farm—60 of them Jämtland breed. They supply us with wool for our Jämtland sweatshirts.
The sheep they keep are a mix of old Swedish breeds that together are called Allmoge sheep. They also have some Gotland sheep and cattle.
Winterlia Farm is located in the north of Sweden, and they have a variety of different sheep, many of which are rare and sometimes endangered breeds. In addition to the Jämtland sheep they keep, they also have two Swedish heritage breeds, Klövsjö sheep and Helsinge. They are both a conservation breeds.
The Winterlias keep their sheep in a spacious, airy shed in the winter. Not so much to keep the sheep warm—their wool will handle that—but because when the ground is covered in snow they can't forage enough food to eat.
This is why almost all farmers in the north of Sweden have their sheep inside in winter.
Winterlia Gård follows the criteria for an organic farm, but they haven’t been able to afford to pay for the organic certification.
At their farm they also have a small shop where they sell sheep skin, yarn made from their wool, felted shoe soles, home-made sausage and wooden one-time plates.
The wooden plates were something Johan’s father started with, he did not like bringing plastic out to the forest when he was hunting or hiking. Instead he made a thin wooden plate that you can leave in the forest after eating on it, without having a bad conscience.
Felting and hand-spinning are techniques that Erika have worked with for a long time, she really enjoys working with her sheep’s wool.