Cashmere Cabin at
         Elmledge Farm
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Name:                    Cashmere Cabin    

Address:                 Jodie & Sonny Richards

                                119 Nash Road

                                Windham, Maine  04062

Phone:                     207-892-4040


Products and Services:

-dehaired fiber for hand spinners

-machine or handspun natural or dyed yarn

-Cashmere goats for sale

-Boer goats for sale

-wagon and hay rides with Belgian horses

-Angora rabbits

-socks and gloves made to order

-fresh eggs

What Makes Cashmere Cabin Unique?

Through the ages cashmere has always been a highly-prized commodity and there is a very good reason why this is the case.  The process to acquire cashmere involves quite a bit of work in a short period of time. Jodie Richards fell in love with Cashmere goats and the fiber that they produce back in 1999.  She and her family have been willing to undertake the effort needed to raise and care for the goats and to harvest their hair.

Unlike wool which is sheared from sheep, cashmere is a fiber which needs to be combed.

Cashmere goats have a double layer of hair.  The outer coarse layer is the guard hair.  Underneath the guard hair is the soft, fine cashmere hair.

Before the cashmere can be utilized it must be de-haired.  The de-hairing is a process which removes the fine hair from the outer coarse guard hair.  After this process takes place, the hair can be dyed and spun.  Because all of these steps are labor-intensive, it is understandable to those familiar with the process why an ounce of cashmere yarn can cost $30 or more.

Jodie Richards purchased her Cashmere goats from Yvonne Taylor of Black Locust Farm in Washington, Maine.  Yvonne and her husband were one of the first people to raise Cashmere goats in Maine.  Jodie is grateful to Yvonne for serving as a mentor when she first began raising these fiber animals.  Jodie and her family have built up their herd and presently sell Cashmere goats to individuals interested in breeding them or keeping them as pets.  They recently added some Boer goats that they plan on raising for pets and meat.

Farming has long been a part of Jodie’s life.

She grew up on a farm in Falmouth and her father worked in the woods.  She raised seven children and commented that it is her son, John,

and his daughter, Jennifer, who have navigated

most towards raising and caring for animals and

helping out on the farm.

Jodie and her granddaughter, Jennifer, enjoy spinning and knitting and making various handcrafted items including cashmere socks and gloves.  For many years Jodie and Sonny would travel with the small portable booth they named the “Cashmere Cabin” to sell their handmade goods at various fairs such as Skowhegan, Cumberland, Windsor, Topsham, and Fryeburg.

They also regularly participated in the Fiber Frolic.  Instead of having to undergo all the set-up and breakdown that most fair participants face, the Richards were able to drive right up to

their spot at the fair; open the cabin doors;

and begin sales.  It was quite an ingenious way to attract customers and a convenient way to display their handcrafted items.

The Cashmere Cabin is now situated in front of

their home at 119 Nash Road in Windham.  It is open by chance or by appointment.  Jodie and

Jennifer take special orders and are happy to mail items.  Jennifer also raises Angora rabbits

for their fiber.

The Cashmere goats and Boer goats are just part of the menagerie found at Cashmere Cabin at Elmledge Farm.  The Richards family raise thirty laying hens, turkeys, specialty fowl, and Belgian horses.  Sonny often provides wagon and hay rides with his two Belgians, when the weather isn’t too cold.  The draft pair now consists of Jim and Sam.  Their beloved horse named Pete passed away recently.  Sonny was raised on a farm with horses and enjoyed raising oxen for many years. 

Jodie chuckled when recounting how the family loves to joke Sonny about reverting back to horses because he “had aged so that couldn’t walk and needed the horses for the ride that they provided!” When questioned about Sonny’s reaction to the playful teasing, Jodie responded, “He can take it, and he can certainly dish it out!”   Son John enjoys working with the horses and helping out.  Both Sonny and Jodie worked in the woods with the horses for several years so they have a great deal of experience working horses.  They competed in several draft horse events at the agricultural fairs over the years.

Jodie retired from working in the medical billing field and Sonny is retired from working for the town of Windham.  They have thoroughly enjoyed operating their three-acre farm in their retirement and have opened it up to visitors for the past three years when Open Farm Day is held in the summer.

Open Farm Day holds quite a bit of significance to the Richards’ family.  It was at an Open Farm Day that Jodie first had the opportunity to view

Cashmere goats at Black Locust Farm.  She now

has several Cashmere goats and a great deal of

experience.  With her knowledge and willingness to share information about her animals, the cycle of encouraging others to explore farming continues to gain momentum.

Jodie explained that they have cut back somewhat on the number of their goats and on some of the activities which they used to do.  They have allowed their children to help out more.  After visiting Cashmere Cabin at Elmledge Farm this past July, there is no question that their farming operation is going strong.  It’s great to know that an individual does not have to travel to some exotic location to  acquire some cashmere.  When the weather warms up a little, there should be plenty of fresh eggs for sale at Cashmere Cabin and the Richards always welcome visitors by chance or by appointment.

The FarmCashmere_Around_Farm.html

From left:  John, Jennifer, Jodie, and Sonny