Whataview Farm was founded in 1978 after we (John & Mary) moved from the big city of Milwaukee. We threw caution to the wind, and started our own farm with limited experience in agriculture. The farm that we know and love today has been a labor of love and has been slowly growing over the past decades.
Right from the start, we began making maple syrup from the acres of maple trees that were on the property. It began in a kettle in our back yard over an open fire. Over the years the operation has expanded (to say the least!) Now we tap over 500 trees, and produce an average of 200 gallons of syrup per year. To learn more about our maple syrup production, click here.
We’ve had all kinds of livestock, ranging from cows, to pigs, chickens and ducks, goats and rabbits and even some guinea hens, turkeys and a peacock. Eventually, we settled on focusing on a single critter - sheep. From 2 sheep early on, we grew our flock to have around 50 ewes each year, that lamb in the spring to bring the flock to a total of around 150 by summer. But, time marches on and takes a toll on energy to invest. After 30 years of working with sheep the decision was made to sell the flock to cut down on the work load. We still have 3 donkeys and will probably be hosting a few other animals in the years to come on a small scale. Nothing that needs full time attention and constant care. A "semi-retirement", so to speak!
Mary learned to spin in 1984 (while we had one or two sheep on the farm). The spinning led to weaving in 1989 and we haven’t been able to stop for a moment since! The first few rugs were just a fun thing to throw around the house, but soon there were piles of rugs all around the house and someone had the brilliance to suggest that we try to sell them. A true obsession was born! Now Whataview Weaver has well over 300 rugs on hand to sell in the studio, with the total number of rugs woven nearing the 5,000 mark. We’re glad we decided to sell some... To learn more about the fiber art that is for sale, click here.
And the gardens! How could we forget about the gardens?! Mary takes a bit of time out of weaving in the summer in order to tend to her expansive gardens that surround the house and are slowing creeping into the farmyard. Summer is a beautiful time on the farm, and we encourage you to stop on out and enjoy the splendor of the season - in the gardens, the farm yard, and the studio! Check out our Events page for more information about when to swing on by. And remember, we always say “if we’re home, we’re open!”
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