Alice Gardner- Gardner's Sheep
Alice Gardner was the granddaughter of a Fort
Ross sheep rancher and had always wanted to raise sheep. Her husband promised when they married they would
live on a farm, but he took his family to LosAngeles for 18 years when he studied viruses and cancer at the
University of Southern California.
Gardner then moved his family north in 1981 and chaired the department of pathology at the University of
California, Davis. Alice finally got her ranch on Maxwell Lane in Dixon, CA. Originally Murray purchased a flock of
Barbados sheep to raise for slaughter, but Alice took after her grandfather, who used to cry when the butchers
arrived to harvest his flock. She contacted Dr. Glen Spurlock and switched to California Reds. Preferring to market
wool instead of meat, she ran a small company out of her home called Flat Hill Farm Fibers. Alice cleaned and dyed
raw wool then had them processed into roving. Alice preferred to leave the spinning to her customers. It was her
favorite part of the process. "It's like magic. It's very satisfying, very relaxing. You don't have to keep track
years Alice held an "Open Barn" where she invited the public to her 10 acre ranch at shearing time. Much of her
processed and raw wool was sold at this annual gathering. Spinners and weavers are on hand and lambs were
barbecued, giving people a sample of everything from wool to meat.
Alice raised CA Reds from
1981 till 1999. She and Murray moved from their ranch to an "island" home in the delta near Rio Vista, CA where
they are currently located.