Focus on natural at Bleating Heart

Bleating Heart Haven Farm and Gallery is all about nature and natural living.

In a world where so much is synthetic and manufactured, fiber arts, nature photography, and the farm are connections to what is natural and real. Cindy Ellenbecker of Bleating Heart Haven said, “Whether you spin, weave, knit, crochet, felt or just enjoy the art of those labors of love, a piece of the natural world runs through your fingers here on the farm.

“You can meet the sheep (four different breeds: Blue-face Leicester, Cormo, Corriedale, and Shetland), the Angora goats (mohair producers) or the Angora bunnies (Angora producers) that grow the fleece, and shake the hand of the shepherdess who raises them,” she added.

Resident chickens free range, and what farm would be complete without a paint horse, a spotted miniature donkey, a variety of spoiled cats, and a couple of friendly labs?

Bleating Heart Haven Gallery has raw fleeces for sale, natural and dyed locks for sale, and kettle-dyed and hand-painted yarn for sale. ll fiber is strictly from the fiber animals on the farm. In addition there are a variety of hand knit and hand-felted finished boutique items for sale. A willow patch from which the baskets offered for sale in the gallery are made is part of the aura of the farm.

The gallery offers everything wool and mohair—socks, dog toys, dryer balls, bird nesting balls, wool baskets, for home decor. Consignment rustic benches, jewelry, shawl pins, goat milk and lotions, felted soaps, and more are also found in the shop. Floor to ceiling the gallery is bathed in nature photography on the walls—and it is all for sale.

Fiber arts is a niche business and for that reason the shop is on the road part of the year exhibiting at Madison Knit-ln in March, the Jefferson Sheep and Wool show in September, the American Club Christmas Market in November, and the Old World Christmas Market in Elkhart Lake in December.

Ellenbecker was instrumental in getting the Rural Arts Roadtrip: Fine Art, Food, and Fun off the ground in 2013, and successfully secured state tourism monies by writing a grant for marketing the event in 2014 and 2015, the only years eligible. Rural Arts Roadtrip is an annual road trip (second weekend in October) with 11 stops at rural Calumet County and Manitowoc county farms and artist studios, each site hosting a variety of artists and participants. Other area businesses have come on board as advertisers since the event has a distribution of 25,000 brochures. This year will be the event’s fourth year with the dates being Oct. 7-9. See the Web site and Facebook pages Rural Arts Roadtrip.

In 2015 Ellenbecker also launched the Rites of Spring: Fiber Frolic which is essentially a yarn shop hop in northeast Wisconsin. She wrote yet another grant to secure state tourism monies to market this event in 2016. The Rites of Spring is also an annual road trip event (last weekend in April) with 11 fiber arts stops. Check out the Facebook page or www.bleatinghearthaven.comfor more information.

To stop in to shop call (920) 286-0971. The farm hosts groups for touring (fee involved) and will do carding demonstrations and hand spinning demonstrations.