Help save the Icelandic goat!


Jóhanna and a beloved goat. Photos courtesy of Rebecca Morris. 

Did you read the great article on Icelandic sheep and goats in the Summer 2014 issue of Spin-Off? Robin Russo and Marianne Guckelsberger's story included information about efforts to increase the population of the now rare Icelandic goat. Jóhanna B Þorvaldsdóttir of Háafell, Iceland, has had a lifelong passion for preserving these special goats, which have been a part of the Icelandic landscape since Viking times. On her farm in Háafell, she has worked diligently to create markets for goat milk, soap, and fiber. Of particular interest to handspinners, these goats produce a beautiful downy undercoat that is a pleasure to spin and wear. Despite great efforts to draw attention to the Icelandic goat, such as being included in the Slow Food Ark of Taste, being filmed for an episode of Game of Thrones, and making the farm a popular stop on culinary tours, Jóhanna and her supporters struggle to find ways to meet the economic needs of the growing herd.




An Indiegogo campaign has been established to help Jóhanna's farm avoid the auction block. The Iceland Review posted a story (in English) with more information about the economic and political issues impacting breed preservation efforts. You can learn more about the crowd-funding efforts and how you can help on the Save Háafell Goat Farm Facebook page. To see Jóhanna and the goats enjoying Icelandic pastures, check out this video.



Combing the fine undercoat from a goat at Jóhanna's farm. It makes a beautiful, soft yarn to keep heads warm and toasty. Photos courtesy of Rebecca Morris.



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