Shearing Day is from noon to 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, August 14 at Island Alpaca. The event features the newest alpaca babies, also referred to as cria, getting their first shave. August, after all, can be hot, especially for those with fur.
Admission is $5 per person.
For more information, visit islandalpaca.com or call 508-693-5554.
Island Alpaca will be holding a Thanksgiving weekend open house from Nov. 22 through 25, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.
Island Alpaca is a 20-acre farm that hosts an untold number of alpacas and one llama. Visitors can wander about on their own self-guided tour through the grounds and inside the post-and-beam barn where everything alpaca, from sweaters to hats, dolls and socks, awaits. For anyone feeling especially ambitious, the alpacas themselves are for sale. After all, Christmas is just around the corner.
The Island Alpaca Farm on Head of the Pond Road in Oak Bluffs will hold pre-holiday open houses on Sunday, Nov. 18 and Sunday, Nov. 25 from noon to 4 p.m. Besides offering products from the farm, the open houses will provide snacks and hot cider. More information is available by visiting islandalpaca.com.
Heather Welch of Island Alpaca Co. appeared in person to receive her award for winning the photo contest to be published in the 2009 Massachusetts agriculture calendar. Two of her photographs will appear in the 2009 calendar.
The ceremonies took place yesterday, Sept. 18, at the Big E Fairgrounds in West Springfield.
“They are cute!” exclaimed four-year-old Liam Rust, an alpaca enthusiast. It’s hard not to become one after seeing the herd at Island Alpaca. The animals graze in a nine-and-a-half-acre gold and green field in front of a Pennsylvania barn that’s nearing the end of its second century.
On a recent summer afternoon, Heather Welch, a 16-year-old caretaker, stood before the barn and sprayed down the alpacas, trying to keep them cool and clean.
Introductory classes to spinning with Anna Marie D’Addarie are being offered at the store at the Island Alpaca Farm, Oak Bluffs.
All ages are welcomed. Materials and practice wheels are provided.
The class price is $125. Each class consists of two sessions for a total of eight hours. Wheel rentals are available for use after class for two weeks for an additional $50. A $25 credit can be applied towards any wheel purchase at the end of rental period.
The Island Alpaca Company is introducing a new Sunday morning program called Island Alpaca Junior Discovery, wherein children ages 8 to 18 can learn all about this most noble creature. Participants will find out all where the alpaca come from and why they are important to humans. Educational opportunities include hands-on activities, such as barn chores, alpaca feeding and care, halter training, and possibly, a chance to witness the birth of a new herd member.
The Island Alpaca Company participated in the 2009 Symposium and Fleece Event in Syracuse, New York in early February, with the submission of two of alpaca fleece blankets. Made from the super-soft prime fleece that is shorn from the backs of two different alpacas, Estrada and Angelina; these blankets were each awarded blue ribbons. In competition, fleece is judged for fineness and handle, brightness, crimp and density, lack of modulation and, finally, cleanliness. This is the third blue ribbon Estrada has taken home for his fleece alone.
Island Alpaca Farm welcomed more than 100 members of the public last Friday to see the shearing of the newest additions to their herd: nine baby alpacas, or cria, as they are known to alpaca farmers.
Fun and informative, the shearers, who visited from Unity, N.H., explained the process to onlookers: “You start from the top of the back and work towards the belly,” said Jozi Best, who has been shearing alpacas for over a decade, or more than 2,000 alpacas each year. “Shearing the alpaca stimulates the growth for a strong winter fleece.”