Touchstone Farm is a small sheep farm nestled in the rolling foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains in Rappahannock County, about 65 miles southwest of Washington, DC. Our location is ideal for shepherding for several reasons. The gentle pastoral beauty of the area not only makes it a wonderful place to live, but the mild climate provides us with a lush growth of grass that lets us graze our sheep continually from March through December. We are also lucky to have a County government that is committed to maintaining the rural character of Rappahannock, keeping agriculture and tourism as the twin pillars of the local economy. Finally, our location allows us to cater to the sophisticated palates of Washington, DC and the growing demand for quality lamb in the mid-Atlantic region.
Aside from some part-time help at shearing time, and the gentle bullying of friends into doing some occasional chores (…”awwh c’mon, it’ll be fun”…) the day-to-day running of Touchstone Farm falls on the shoulders of Alan Zuschlag and Keith Miller.
Founded in 1996, Touchstone farm remains very much a work in progress. From our initial base of 25 acres we now farm 119 acres, and we’re slowly expanding until we reach our goal of having approximately 200 acres of pastures, hay fields, and forest under production. Our expansion policy is to increase production only so long as we can maintain our high quality standards and enjoy our work.
We raise purebred Clun Forest Sheep on our farm. We’re very impressed with the looks, temperament, and performance of the Clun Forest breed in our lamb production. They’re easy lambers and good mothers that raise nice, healthy, robust lambs. If you’d like to know more about this terrific breed of sheep, please take a look at our breeding stock page.
While sheep are the real income producers on the farm, we have a small flock of geese and other poultry that provide us with meat, eggs, and hours of amusement. The diplomatic and international community in Washington, DC have become good customers for our Christmas goose and we’re slowly expanding our production to meet the demand. Alan also sells real estate in Rappahannock County and surrounding areas of Virginia’s hunt country.
If you’d like to see pictures of the farm you are welcome to view our Photo Gallery. If you’d like to hear what others have said about us, click on the publication image below.