Hillside Farm’s Hula Bunnies – Micro Farming with Micro Sheep!
Hillside Farm is a small backyard ‘Micro-Farm’ with angora ‘Micro-Sheep’ on the Island of Hawaii. These micro-sheep are English angora rabbits who provide soft luscious fiber for spinning into yarn.
We used to be a ‘real’ farm on leased farm land, but the bunnies were so much more productive than anything else that we now focus on the bunnies instead of crops. The bunnies fit into the back yard, so our ‘farm’ is now a backyard ‘micro-farm’ and we no longer lease any farmland.
These gentle and friendly fiber bunnies provide fiber just like sheep three or four times a year. Their ‘wool’ is either combed, plucked or sheared off and they seem to enjoy haircuts and bounce around afterwards, although they quickly settle in to growing more fiber soon enough. After the fiber is ‘harvested’ from the bunny it can be spun into yarn immediately or carded a little before spinning into yarn. A light drop spindle works well for angora wool or a traditional spinning wheel will spin it up much quicker. Since the bunnies stay clean and dry, their fiber does too so it doesn’t need to be washed before spinning, unlike other fibers.
Since we are outnumbered by the bunnies, most of their fiber is sent to a mill on the mainland to be spun into Hula Bunny Yarn. Some of it is spun here, but we can’t keep up with them.
Each of these bunnies will produce about a pound of spinnable fiber each year and they weigh about five pounds. So, these little critters produce their own body weight of fiber every five years. Busy bunnies, indeed!
Sunny making citrus leaves into fluffy fiber.
The proper sort of fiber in a diet!
You can contact us at HillsideFarmHawaii@Yahoo.com if you have any inquiries about bunnies or spinning. We usually have assorted fibers, English angora bunnies and yarn available. The yarn is made with island fibers although the fibers are sometimes alpaca or sheep’s wool as well as the angora bunny fiber.
We now have Hillside Farm’s yarn and Hula Bunny Yarn available at “Vera’s Treasures” along main street in Honokaa, Hawaii. It is in the old red Rice building near the post office end of town.