The Dorset Horn tastes fresh, lamby and sweet, round, with a
great fat to lean ratio and notes of olive oil and lavender. It is
gamey in the best way with floral after notes.
The Dorset Horn is a breed of sheep that spread over Dorset,
Somerset, Devon, and most of Wales. In 1750 this is the breed the
English with a fine palate would eat for Christmas! Today we eat it
more frequently because the Dorset Horn is able to give birth three
times a year. Dorsets tolerate heat well, and heat tolerance
contributes to the rams’ ability to breed earlier in the season
than rams of other breeds. This contributes to the Dorset Horn
being a very profitable sheep to grow although it remains on the
Threatened List of the ALBC-USA.org website.
The Hudson Bay Company first shipped the Dorset Horn to America
in the 1860s. But it was a livestock show in Chicago a few years
later that made it famous. The Dorset Horn is known for its healthy
appetite and thrives on the lush pastures of Vermont where Ben
Machin and Grace Bowmer raise a herd.
Ben Machin grew up in Vermont on a small organic homestead where
his family grew their own food, and produced apple juice, apple
cider vinegar, and maple syrup. After some years working for the US
Forest Service as a Smokejumper, Ben came back to Vermont to study
and work on various natural conservation projects. Eventually he
rekindled his interest in farming. Raising sheep has been in Ben's
blood for generations. His great-grandfather started a Tunis flock
in the 1920s and then Ben's grandfather began to work with Dorset
Horn sheet for a 4-H project. In 2006, Ben had a conversation with
his grandfather, Herb, during Herb's final days that encouraged Ben
to dedicate himself to revitalizing the family flock.
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