We are pleased to introduce three different eco-friendly products (wool pellets, wool “sponges”, and wool dryer balls) – all made with wool that would otherwise be considered as “trash” from our very own sheep.

Wool is something of a “miracle” fiber – it has the lowest carbon footprint of any fiber available, being completely renewable, and not requiring insecticides or herbicides to grow. Up to 50% of the weight of wool consists of carbon – as long as this wool is used (rather than burned), this carbon is being sequestered. Wool also has a remarkable ability to retain moisture (up to 30% of its weight), and wicks moisture well, remaining warm even when wet – part of the reason why it’s ideally suited for wearing in winter (we live in our Smartwool merino wool base layers all winter long!). It also has antimicrobial properties. It will slowly biodegrade, unlike many plastics. And, of course, wool doesn’t shed microplastics!

But not all of the fleece shorn from a sheep is of a quality suitable for spinning into high-quality yarn. Some (especially around the belly, neck, and rear of a sheep) is too full of mud or “vegetative matter” to be worth the effort to clean. Other wool is too short for spinning into yarn, is coarse, or contains a weakness that would cause yarn to break while being spun. Many breeds of sheep just don’t produce wool of sufficient quality to merit the cost of converting it into yarn. At most farms, such wool is either burned or thrown into the trash.

Even though our own sheep are of a breed that yields high-quality fleece that appeals to handspinners, between 25% and 35% of the weight of each fleece doesn’t merit selling. That amounts to 150-200 pounds of wool each year from our flock alone. Rather than throwing it out, we have explored ways to convert it into the eco-friendly products described below.

Wool Pellets. Wool pellets are made with the dirtiest of wool – the dirtier, the better. The wool is shredded, combined with approximately 25% rabbit manure (to act as a binder), and is then heat-sterilized and pelletized. As both sheep manure and rabbit manure are “cold” forms of manure, wool pellets will not “burn” tender seedlings.

Wool pellets condition your soil, helping it retain water. They are thus ideal for growing houseplants that are watered less frequently than optimal. They are an eco-friendly replacement for sphagnum/peat moss (the mining of which is not sustainable) with a renewable product. They also act as a slow-release form of nitrogen, and are reputed to help repel slugs and impede the growth of weeds.

A recent study conducted by the University of Vermont – Extension found that when wool pellets were broadcast and then tilled into sandy soil to a 2″ depth, the yield of broccoli increased 3.2-fold for the soil amended with wool pellets compared to broccoli grown without wool pellets.

  • To use: mix 1/2 C of wool pellets with 1 gallon (enough for a 10″ pot) of potting mix.

We offer wool pellets (made with wool from our own sheep) for $12 for a 1-lb bag ($20 for two bags), plus shipping (if required).

Wool “Sponges”. Are you tired of how nasty and slimy conventional sponges become? Take advantage of the natural antimicrobial properties of wool!

Wool that is too coarse or too short for spinning into high-quality wool can be converted into felt (note: not all wool felts readily!), and then cut into wool “sponges”. These can be used for cleaning dishes, counters, or your body. With continued use and exposure to hot water, they will shrink to the size of a normal sponge and become “scrubbier”. They are safe to use on copper pots and pans as well as on cast iron skillets.

Use as you would a normal sponge. To clean them, wash them in soap and hot water, and squeeze them dry. Alternatively, you can throw them in your dishwasher.

Tests we have done on our wool sponges in which we threw them in a washing machine for an hour with hot water and high agitation revealed that they shrank – but maintained their integrity. These make a great hostess gift if paired with the all-purpose all-natural plant-based multisurface cleaner available from a neighboring lavender farm (well worth the visit!).

We offer wool sponges as a package of two (roughly 5″ x 5″) for $10, plus shipping (if required).

Wool Dryer Balls. These represent an eco-friendly replacement for dryer sheets and fabric softener. Ours are made from undyed wool in all three of the colors that Nature provides (white, gray, and dark brown). You won’t encounter any “bleeding” of dyes onto your damp laundry, or expose your clothing to toxic dyes.

You might be able to find dryer balls at a slightly lower cost online or at Target. Do consider that they were almost certainly shipped from the other side of the globe (so factor their transport into their carbon footprint). Moreover, many are not 100% wool, but contain a “core” of synthetic materials.


  • According to the Department of Energy, dryer balls significantly reduce the time required to dry laundry, in part by absorbing water but also by eliminating pockets of moisture. This is an important consideration, as dryers are among the costliest of household appliances to operate.
  • Dryer balls also reduce static cling, eliminating the need for dryer sheets.
  • They attract animal hair that might be present on your clothing.
  • They soften clothes and reduce wrinkles by increasing air circulation, reducing friction between your clothes.
  • Won’t shed microplastics to the environment.
  • Should last for 1000 or more loads if properly cared for.

We offer dryer balls as both plain (in white or gray), or hand-decorated forms (five designs available: dark brown stars on white balls, white stars on gray balls, dark brown “yin and yang” symbols on white balls, dark brown spirals on white balls, or dark brown and gray sheep on white balls. The decorated balls make wonderful hostess gifts, especially if paired with some of the lavender essential oil mist available at a lavender farm near us (well worth the visit!). Our price is $20 for 4 plain balls, or $30 for 3 decorated balls (plus shipping, if needed).

Please contact us if you need additional information on any of these products, or to schedule a visit to our farm to pick some up (and see our lambs!).