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Wool - Vermonter's Winter Defense

Merino-Sheep-and-lambsI recall a few years ago driving a buyer around who shortly after we got underway, exclaimed "What's going on with this seat?" He was from the south and wasn't familiar with heated seats. After I explained, at the time, what a great option it was, he said " So that's how you Vermonter's survive winter." Heated car seats are one of hundreds of ways that Vermonter's deal with the colder temperatures of winter. One of the best ways to stay warm is to turn to yet another localvore product, wool.

Most people associate dairy and cheese production with the agricultural heritage of Vermont. Yet, the biggest impact on Vermont environmentally and economically was the huge expansion of sheep farming after the Civil War. Eighty percent of Vermont's landscape was cleared to provide grazing and hay for the vast herds of sheep. Woolen Mills were built wherever there was ample water power available. Vermont's wool production provided clothing, blankets and outer wear for a large segment of the country.

Vermont is once again recognized as being a leader in the production of wool and the manufacture of quality wool products. One of the oldest continuous makers of excellent wool products is Johnson Woolen Mills in Johnson, Vermont. Highly recognizable red checkered caps, jackets and even pants are the traditional hunter's garb. Their warmth and durability are the source of legend. Darn Tough socks in Northfield, Vermont are a favorite Vermont product. Available in many styles and weights, the socks fully live up to their name. So fully, that they come with a lifetime warranty that will replace any socks that wear out.

One of the newest front runners of wool clothing is Ibex Outdoor Clothing. They have taken a proven raw product and have designed and manufactured some of the finest performing and stylish wool clothing to date. If you have the opportunity to be in Vermont this coming Friday 10/11 and Saturday 10/12, you owe yourself a treat by attending the Annual Ibex Tent Sale on the Green in Quechee, Vermont. This event has drawn devotees from all over the country for many years. Trying on an Ibex wool jacket on a crisp cool autumn day will make you wish for cold weather.

Posted by Wade I. Treadway

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