On a farm in a cove in the Smokies, a biologist turned cheesemaker is bringing a slice of woods back to life. Like a pebble tossed into a pond, every careful decision she makes, every creature she cares for, has a lasting effect on the forest she’s trying to save.
On a typical sheep, one year of fleece growth will yield three sweaters. But there are precious few shearers to tend all of the flocks in North Carolina. For the last traveling shearers, an age-old trade has become a kind of modern artistry.