Monday, September 27, 2010

I Love Alpacas!

Yesterday (Sunday) we visited Wisconsin Driftless Alpacas in outside of Cashton. Mark Blackbourn & Jan Hesson are the owners.
It was the first time we've been "up close & personal" with alpacas. It was great! They are beautiful animals.
We asked a lot of questions & learned a lot about them. I think it is a definite "yes" to owning a pair. I have to share something funny ...someone asked how you can tell if they are pregnant.

Mark takes the male & female into a pasture by themselves. If the female lays down, she isn't pregnant & the male will mount her. If the female spits on the male, she is pregnant. Bet you that happens with humans, too :-), the spitting part I mean. Seems like alpacas will be a good fit for our farm. We would raise them for the wool. There were a couple of people showing how to spin the wool. One was Kathyrn, the owner of Ewetopia Fiber Shop in Viroqua. Something else I have wanted to learn. Maybe Steve could make me a spinning wheel...hint, hint.
Mark answering questions about the alpacas.

The newest member of their alpaca family. So cute & with really unusual coloring.

Other things we did this weekend... mowed (hopefully for the last time), picked more strawberries (who knew we would still be getting strawberries?), a couple squash, one tomato :-(, and chocolate mint. Steve worked on the platform for the wood stove. We took it kind of easy this weekend. It was a stressful week last week & we needed to relax a little.
 On Saturday, I went up to get eggs from Lizzie. She wasn't there but Levina (the oldest child) was & we visited a bit. They have ordered the lumber for the barn & almost have the plans finished. Their porch is back together & looks great. There are still a lot of trees down in the pasture but it will take a while for that to be cleaned up.

It is going to be another long, stressful week here in Illinois until we get back to the farm to hopefully start putting up the river rock for the wood stove. Installation is set for the last week in October. We are hoping the garage doors will be in next week. It is also time to plant the garlic which will take a while with thirty different kinds to plant.
Have a great week!


Anne Marie said...

hi! saw you following the events website.....thanks! i hope you can make it to the sale we're having...

we went on an alpaca tour a few years ago, and i was in love with that animal afterward and wanted a whole i have one? no...just a horse and pony for the four legged animals here...but i love them!

SkippyMom said...

30 different kinds of garlic? May I ask why? :) - That is a lot of garlic.

Nancy@el vigilante said...

Oh, I want some of those alpacas! (this always happens when I see cute farm animals.) They are adorable. I might have to go visit an alpaca farm one of these days. :)

Barb and Steve said...

Hi Anna Marie...I will probably be at the farm during your sale but I am interested in your cooking you blog :-)
Skippy Mom...I love garlic & I also sell it. People are amazed at all the different kinds there are. thanks for asking :-)
Nancy...I want them too..we are talking about preparing our pasture already.

angie said...

Hi Barb,

If Steve makes you a spinning wheel, I might be his second customer. :)

30 garlic!! yea!

Anonymous said...

Alpacas are cute aren't they?! And they are smart as well. Glad your going to get two. That will be fun.
Glad to hear that Lizzy and family are good and that the porch is done and the barn to be raized soon. Will there be a big gathering and building with the wemon cooking and watching all the action?? What fun that would be!!!...debbie

Lynn said...

Alpacas have the sweetest faces and they fascinate me too.

There is a fiber arts center a few miles from me where I bought some alpaca wool to weave two scarves for Christmas presents. If interested, I did a 4-part blog series last November on The Old Oaks Ranch Fiber Arts Center. The ranch has a small herd of alpacas too.

The cottage by the Cranelake said...

I know of a little village here in Sweden where every one hates alpacas :-) :-) I don´t know exactly what happened but I remember my mother telling how happy every one in the village was when the alpaca was gone :-) :-) I guess that they are much like all other living creatures, very individual in their temper :-)

Looking forward to reports from Yours when You get some!

Have a great day now!

Anonymous said...

I love the alpacas! When we went to the fair we spent a lot of time with the llamas and alpacas. I wish we had space for them. I guess for now I'll have to stick to chickens and rabbits.
When can/should I start planting garlic? Soon, right?

Barb and Steve said...

Angie...I'll let him know :-)

Debbie...I hope so. I would love to see a barn raising!

Hi Lynn..I'll have to check that out. Thanks!

Christer..I hope we get some nice ones. I don't want to be spit on

Hi Hippie...I like to plant before the first frost. Have you had that yet? If so, you can still get them in. They just get a little more of a head start before the frost. After the hard frost, make sure to cover with straw.

PatQ said...

I bet you were wondering when I'd pipe in here. You know you got me going with the alpaca's. I've taken spinning lessons and could show you some. I haven't been practicing because I've been waiting for Tom to be me the wheel I want. Hasn't happened yet. But I do have a spindle. There's a great place in Marengo to take lessons.

Barb and Steve said...

Hi Pat...I would love to learn soon. Lets get together for lunch.