When I started weaving with linen, I searched for over a year to find local linen or at least linen that was grown and processed in the Western Hemisphere. In that search I became acquainted with http://www.fibershed.com/ and Rebecca Burgess, it's founder. Her philosophy meshed so perfectly with mine, and she had brought it to a finely sculpted point. Because of Rebecca, I was inspired to stop talking about saving our earth and instead start taking some action. By encouraging local farmers to grow local fibers, we are reducing carbon footprint by lowering our use of fossil fuels both from shipping possible fleeces to and from the bigger operations in the East and possibly around the world, and also helping farmers gain more from their sheep than just selling them for meat. I did not know that many sheep farmers, who need to maintain their flocks (shearing their fleece is a necessary requirement to raising sheep; just part of their maintenance) often give the shearer the fleece as partial payment, or they throw the fleece away by burning or composting it. They don't raise enough wool to make it profitable to have it shipped east to be processed. But now by having local facilities processing the wool from fleece to yarn, and then having a local mill weaving the fiber into a useful fabric, we are enabling the farmer to reap more from his resources, and we are helping to build the core population, that was once the backbone of America but has been squeezed out by corporate farming, politics, industrial and residential development, mining, and general discouragement. Please check out Fibershed.com and consider joining one of the 2 Fibershed communities we have in MN! Oh, and don't forget to follow us on our journey as we establish the first cottage weaving mill in the Midwest!