Wool production is in my husband Mitch’s DNA. He’s the fifth generation to have farmed sheep on Kangaroo Island. The climate is mild, our soil is well-draining and we have few predators, as there are no dingoes or foxes on the Island. Wool is a product that we take pride in producing – a natural garment from a farming system that is sustainable.
Our family’s story
Mitch’s ancestors came out from England in the early 1860s. After initially landing in Adelaide, they moved down to Yankalilla before taking up lease land on Kangaroo Island. In 1867 they had the opportunity to purchase some land and the family has been farming the same property at Willson River since then. The boundaries have moved as we expanded, and we now manage 1285 hectares.
Willson River Farm
The Willson River flows from the north to the south of the Dudley Peninsula at the Eastern end of the KI. Our soil profile is extremely variable, from river flats to ancient sand dunes that are now limestone ridges. We don’t experience extreme temperatures, with the sea providing a moderating influence and a reliable rainfall. We shear 12,000 sheep annually, and also have a prime lamb enterprise and crop a small area to produce supplement summer feed.
A third of our property is still under native vegetation. This allows for our stock to have shelter so they can live outdoors and be grass fed all year.
My Kangaroo Island
Chapman River is a small catchment near Cape Willoughby. There is abundant wildlife, being adjacent to the Lashmar conservation park. The river flows into Antechamber Bay and is a fabulous place for families to safely camp under the tea trees, have a campfire, swim in either the ocean or the river, canoe, chat and walk with friends on the beach.
My favourite Kangaroo Island Wool garment:
The styles are timeless, I love them all. Mitch and I wear the pullovers constantly and everywhere. I like the Cooma roll neck and Mitch has the Lawson half zip jumper. My mum loves the hats with the lightness of the possum fur and finds the wraps very flexible to be worn around her shoulders or over her knees. Our daughter wears the scarf and beanie and I find the Merimbula jacket very flexible and great to wear when going out.