Our farmhouse and barn were built circa 1790. As you can imagine, many have worked the land in various ways over decades and centuries. Some of the earliest farmers here raised sheep and planted apple trees, many of which still produce delicious apples hundreds of years later!
We started our farming venture with a few chickens and a small vegetable garden. Fast forward several years and we are now raising alpacas for fiber and have many gardens. We still raise chickens (nothing beats farm-fresh eggs!) and grow blueberries, herbs and vegetables for our own use and to share with guests.
We were first introduced to alpacas while visiting an Arizona ranch. They made an impression on us and we found ourselves considering raising alpacas on our farm. As a knitter I knew of alpaca wool, but once I started researching alpaca fiber farming, I felt this would be an enjoyable endeavor worth undertaking.
Members of the camelid family, alpacas originated and were domesticated in South America for their luxurious wool. Alpaca fleece feels incredibly soft, similar to cashmere but more durable. It’s warmer than sheep wool, as well as being hypoallergenic, odor, water and flame resistant. In addition to producing luxurious fleece, alpacas are beautiful, graceful creatures. If you’re feeling stressed, just spend a few minutes around them and you’ll forget your worries!