About Us, Why Alpacas and How Our Journey Began
Funny thing......alpacas were never in the original plans.
Stepping back in time....
My husband, John and I (Candace) have always envisioned being away from the hustle and bustle and living a more laid back way of life and to live off the land. We live in Central New Mexico, USA. Between the two of us, we have six, adult children (his, hers and ours-modern day Brady Bunch). While the kids were growing up, John working his way up in his VP world, we were fortunate enough I could be the stay-at-home mom. For a large part of that I ran an in home pre-school, was a Girl Scout troop leader, soccer, 4H and dance mom. John loves working outdoors and I love crafting, quilting, sewing, knitting.........
Fast forward up to just a few years ago when our youngest reached high school. We tinkered around with a tiny garden, raising chickens, pigs and a steer on our less than 2 acres in the East Mountains just outside Albuquerque. Keeping an eye open for more land in the future, we happened upon our now, little slice of heaven just a few miles down the road from where I grew up. It was PERFECT for our little homestead plans!
We had plans for the typical self reliant, small homestead hobby farm. Raise animals for meat and have a garden and small orchard. Then........I saw a local add on craigslist for alpacas. I had minimal knowledge of what they were, but hey they were cute! So I went and met with the couple selling them. Fell in love with the idea of owning them-I mean, hey I knit, so they're considered a "useful" animal for the farm, right? I purchased two, a male suri and a female huacaya and scheduled to pick up at the end of the week. Came home and started planning and researching like crazy. Very quickly learned males and females cannot be penned together, so our temporary area, the really cool wood, round pen that came with the property, (because we didn't even have a barn at the time) got a temporary three sided lean to and divided in half.
Harrison and Kit Kat
Research, research, research! The way I studied those first few months, non stop, you'd have thought I was preparing for an exam my life depended on! What? They're happier in larger groups? They come in a variety of 16 natural colors. Their fiber is softer than wool. And lanolin free. They have communal potty piles. One cria (baby) a year. To register or not. To show or not. Suri vs Huacaya. Shear yourself or hire a professional. Process fiber yourself or send to a mill.......So. Much. To. Learn!
Very quickly our plan shifted to focus around alpacas. I joined groups and started reaching out to actual alpaca breeders. Three months after purchasing Kit Kat and Harrison, I made a couple of trips to Colorado. One to purchase 2 young Huacaya males from a small breeder and the other to look at a group of good, quality Huacaya girls to start my foundation herd. I purchased the girls, had them bred to her studs and scheduled to pick up at the end of the summer after our barn was built.
Virgo and Journey
WOW! That first 6 months we went from the first purchase of 2 spur of the moment alpacas to 11, with a plan and some knowledge, designed and had a barn built, absorbed endless knowledge on alpacas, and fell in love with our new plan of alpaca farming.
Boy did things transition within a short time to becoming Alpaca Fiber farmers!
It's very important to share that our first purchase of alpacas was not the wisest (or financially smartest) way to go about it. We quickly learned how valuable an alpaca breeder who was willing to also be a mentor was. We really lucked out with the breeder we got our group of girls from that summer. She has been there to answer LOTS of questions and share her knowledge. Very invaluable! To pay it forward and for the well being of the animals, we too, are always willing to share our ever expanding knowledge. We’re always learning new things about alpacas, their fiber and ways of using their fiber.
We fell in love with their personalities, their ease on the land, the multiple uses for their fiber and their manageability. We quickly learned we’d love for it to become more than just a hobby. We have hopes for, not just the business aspect of it to grow but to be able to really benefit the community as well. Alpacas are very peaceful animals and bring a smile to many faces. Our plans may have transitioned a bit, but we are extremely happy with the course we’ve taken and love when we can share our little corner of the world with others. Continue with us on our journey to see where the road takes us!