Owning sheep was Francoise Saverot’s dream since she was a little girl, and now Saverot lives out that dream at Three Sheep Inn Farm in Barboursville.
Despite the name, the 89-acre property has more than three sheep and is not an inn. The misnomer comes from a play on words and family joke when the Monaco-native would say, “free shipping” in her accent.
While not all 89 acres are utilized for the farm, Three Sheep Inn Farm uses rotational grazing across seven different fields. Francoise Saverot, 60, is now four years in to her sheep farm dream and says she spends each morning with the sheep and goats, in addition to checking on them two to three times throughout the day.
“I check that everybody is fine and depending on the project might do their nails or check their eyes. There’s a schedule for them regularly and in between I have a garden. It’s not 24 hours a day that I’m taking care of them, but I do come to see them two to three times a day,” she said.
After living in Northern Virginia for 25 years, Francoise Saverot and her husband, Pierre, chose the location because it was within two hours driving time from their home— allowing them to travel on the weekends to fix up the future site of the farm. The pair also took classes at Virginia State University and visited other sheep farms.
“It’s only when we came here and we decided to get some land here that we went to class at VSU to become shepherds,” Francoise Saverot said. “We worked on the barn to find the exact way we wanted it. We had a mentor and we had to prepare the map for our field and our barn. That was wonderful because that made us think about how we’re using it and how we were going to use it. We got to see exactly how it worked.”
The farm features the Tunis breed, listed on the “watch” list by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy as a rare breed. Pierre Saverot noted that they are one of four Virginia farms with the Tunis breed. Each sheep and lamb at Three Sheep Inn Farm has a name, and Francoise Saverot said having them has taught her a lot.
“I couldn’t believe the day the first sheep arrived,” she said. “I thought sheep were nice, but kind of dumb. They’re not dumb. They have a different way of seeing things. They know why you come to them.”
Three Sheep Inn Farm sells lambs and wool. They can be found online at www.three-sheep-inn-farm.com or on Facebook at “Three Sheep Inn Farm.”
For other little girls dreaming of a sheep farm Francoise Saverot says, “Go for it.”