Friday, November 8, 2013

Holiday Fair in Fremont MI.

The Alpaca Corner will be set up at the Holiday Fair in Fremont MI. tomorrow. November 9, 2013 from 9am to 3pm. It's located in the old Fremont High School. It's a huge event with about 150 exhibitors. Hope to see you there.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Some new members of the White Cloud Alpaca family that you'll meet at our Open House

Our 8th Annual Open house will be here before you know it. In case you forgot, the date is set for Oct. 12, 2013 from 10 to 4pm
Here are a few new faces you'll see on our farm this year
2 little pigs- we have not named them and they are still a little shy

Our 2 Turkeys Tommy & Gretta- very curious & friendly Almost 4 months old they have gotten very big.

This little guy is just over a week old. Maybe you can help us name him. He's doing great!

Our old gal Maggy is not so new. She's the oldest member of our farm

Here's another new guy. Just born in this picture, he's not quite a week old. We also need help naming him

This is Little Ms. Patriot. She was born Nov. 7, 2012 (election day)

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Fall Events & Open House

Just a quick post to let everyone know about some upcoming events for the farm.
Next week we will be at 3 different farm markets with our Alpacas. We'll also have some Alpaca clothing, books, fiber, etc. with us. Just in time for the cold weather.

Market dates:
Sept 18th     We'll be at the Sparta Farmers Market  2-7pm
Sept 20th     Big Rapids Farm Market  8am-2pm
Sept 21st      Howard City Farm Market   9am-2pm

Also, Please Save the date for our 8th Annual White Cloud Alpaca Open House

October 12, 2013 From 10am to 4pm
As always we hope to see old friends and meet new ones.

I'll be posting soon with more info on our Open House and to fill you in on our wonderful summer full of new animals-turkeys & pigs and our daughters wedding.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Shearing Time

Well we are all ready to start the 2013 shearing season, BUT the weather just is not cooperating. April 20th we are scheduled to start shearing at a few farms north of our place. The high is suppose to be 39 or 40 degrees. Those poor Alpacas will be freezing. I think we will be putting them off and working longer days once the weather does brake.

Shearing for our farm is set for May 4, 2013. We will be shearing at a small farm in Morley in the morning and should be back for our Alpaca shearing by 1 o'clock in the afternoon. We are not having a big to do for shearing day this year but people are more then welcome to come help with the harvest. Please call or email if interested.  It's also a great time to get your hands on any of our Alpacas that you may be interested in purchasing or purchasing fleece right off the animal. We have a list of several good mills that you can send the fiber off to, to be processed into roving, yarn or made into socks, clothing, etc.

Maple Syrup: The weather may not be good for shearing but it's been a great year for making maple syrup
 Here are a few pictures of our evaporator. It takes about 38 to 40 gallons of sap from the maple trees to make up 1 gallon of syrup. It takes us a full day of boiling to make about 1 1/2 gallons of syrup. We like to refer to it as liquid gold. Unfortunately our day jobs don't allow for syrup making during the week. We hope to someday be able to make enough for more sales but right now we are just having fun making our own supply and a few extra for gifts and sales.

Gardening Season is also just around the corner: We love to garden and have grown our own veggies since marrying almost 31 yrs ago . We seem to expand our garden by a little every year and have also planted many fruit trees. We always have more then enough for ourselves, our family and a few outside veggie sales. We also hope to have enough for more sales in the future.
Since purchasing our 1st Alpacas 11 yrs ago this coming summer, we have ONLY used Alpaca dung to fertilize the garden. It is by far the best fertilizer we have ever used.
We bag and sell the Alpaca dung $8.00 a bag if we bag it. If you are interested in purchasing some and would like to bag it yourself or bring your pickup truck out to the field, we have reduced pricing.  Check out our blog from March 2012 for fiber analysis compared to other animals.

Stop by our store-The Alpaca Corner, located in This Old House Antiques. Downtown Newaygo and pick up some fiber for the birds.It's the fiber from Alpaca neck & legs. Not soft for clothing but it has great uses.  The birds love it for their nests. You can put some in a bird cake holder and watch the birds take it away. a small bag full free with any purchase.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Winter Clothing Sale

   The Alpaca Corner located in This Old House Antiques, downtown Newaygo is offering 20% Off all capes, wraps, shawls and sweaters through the end of February.

Also, watch for new merchandise coming in. The Alpaca Wool blend blankets are sure to keep you warm and cozy throughout the winter months!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Thanks Giving

I started to write this blog at Thanks Giving. Yikes, where does the time go! Well to catch you up on what's been happening on the farm-

We took Cole to the nursing home for a visit in November. His curious nature and gentle demeanor is always loved by the people there. I usually take a few Alpacas but this time we were in a bit of a hurry and didn't want to run late. I also took my mini van instead of the cargo van they usually travel in and I didn't want the boys to start arguing on the way there and leave spit behind! They usually never spit but under close conditions they can be like kids fighting in the back seat over who has more room.

Several people at the nursing home asked where the other Alpaca was. I'll make sure to bring 2 Alpacas on the next visit.
On our way out we met a couple in their 90's. They were great, very sharp minded and young in heart. They commented that they had never seen an Alpaca before that day and are still learning new things. Wow, how inspirational!

                                                                                                                               That same day, in the morning, our 3 little piggies went bye bye. Oh so sad but we knew the day would come and we prepared knowing that they had the best and most normal life a pig in captivity could have. Being heritage pigs (mule foot) just a few short years ago they were on the extinction list. Very popular 100 yrs ago for being disease resistant and VERY flavorful and easy to raise. Now a days pigs are mostly raised indoors in small singular quarters and pumped with antibiotics so they don't have to worry about disease, they are also raising a different type of pig these days. Less fatty, (the other white meat). Many great Chefs say we gave up flavor and taste, I just know that by raising these pigs for meat it helps to keep the breed alive. If there is no one to purchase the meat, breeders will quite raising them. I also like knowing that the pork I'm eating is natural and doesn't have antibiotics in them. I recently read an article that up to 70% of the antibiotics used in the U.S. are used needlessly for the animals that we eat. Scary if you ask me.OK enough ranting about that.


We  spent some time cleaning up and getting ready for winter. We put the Alpaca pools away, changed the water buckets to our winter heated buckets. We also partially close of the openings that the Alpacas freely enter and exit the barn into the pasture. We have most off the winter supply of hay stored at our neighbors barn but we fill up all extra space in our barn with hay to keep it warmer.

Then came the day in November that I walked out to the barn to see a new Cria! A beautiful little girl and what a surprise she was. Born Nov. 7th (election day), she has been named Little Ms. Patriot.
After 10 yrs of breeding Alpacas you would think I we would know and be watching for an impending birth. Well we just attempted breeding Maria once late in the year. We checked her a few times after that and she showed no signs of being pregnant. When spring came, we decided to hold off on breeding for a year. With Maria's fiber growing in for the winter, it's not as easy to see a cria moving within. Especially if your not watching. I even did a body score on her about a week before and thought to myself, she's getting that older lady frame at a young age. Good thing I keep good records. Now I just have to remember to look at them more often.

December was a quieter month at the farm. The Alpacas stayed warm and comfy with plenty of hay & straw. The snow held off for the most part and they were able to graze in the pasture for most of the month. We sold 4 of our chickens and had a few farm visits.

The Alpaca Corner continues to do great. We had a record breaking season and are purchasing new items all the time. We also have some nice locally made Alpaca/ Wool items for sale.  We were playing with the idea of expanding again. We just don't seem to have the time to keep up with everything know and I'm often wishing that there were more hours in the day so we are holding off at least until summer. However I am researching more sources to purchase from. Mostly local.

I'll blog soon about upcoming events and the happenings of January & February