- On July 16, 2015
- 2 Comments
I’ve lost track of how many chapters the farm has been through so far, so this is just the Next One. The last chapter I wrote about was about writing a book! And that chapter isn’t even over yet, but things are changing again.
Guess I’ll just get right to the point. I’ve sold the alpacas.
I had been wanting to pull back on the number of animals on the farm for a while, what with the monsoons this spring, Luther’s surgical uncertainty, and the ongoing challenge of getting help here when I need it. I let the ducks go a couple of months ago, and that turned out to be a really good thing. I can’t imagine trying to care for them and keep them healthy and confined with the constant torrential rains and mud we had for so long. A sweet lady was so excited to get them, and they live happily at her acreage with a large lake to play in. The relief I felt was measurable–not having to gather eggs in the mud or completely dump and refill all their water every day. Though I miss their silly faces and noises and antics, I’ve cut a lot of time off my regular morning routine. Feeling all that relief showed me just how much responsibility I had single-handedly taken on here, and how burdened I had become under it. Go ahead, tell me “I told you so.” I’m saying it to myself. But the feeling of relief showed me that I wasn’t finished…
I knew reducing the alpaca herd would also be helpful when I needed to turn all the animal care over to others, when I was away. The thought pains me. It feels like quitting or failing. But you and I both know, it’s all about what’s best for them, and selfishly, what’s best for me and the farm for the long haul. So I’ve been quietly advertising a few of the boys to see what might happen. Nothing happened for a long time. The right new owners of our alpaca boys took a while to show up. And when they did, they were an unbelievably good fit, and they were interested in the whole herd.
My new friends Kelley and Chris have three young kids, and live on acreage in Argyle. Kelley’s a small animal vet and will have a much shorter learning curve with the boys than lots of other people would (than I did when I got my first livestock!). We’ve spent time together, hands-on, going over lots of routine care with the boys so it won’t be a surprise when they live with her. We’ll be working together with fiber so she can knowledgeably use the harvest she’ll have coming in the spring. They’ve been working hard on fencing and shelter and other preparations for the ‘pacas, and their kids are very excited.
If all goes to plan, I’ll be taking the guys to their new home tomorrow morning, bright and early to avoid the heat.
What will this mean for the Fiber CSA going forward? Well, we will still have all that gorgeous wool, and I have a shed full of alpaca fiber that I have procured from other local alpaca raisers. We’ll work out the details as we get closer to Share sales in October, but don’t worry. There will be plenty of good stuff to come…
Until the last day or so, I haven’t let myself even think about what it will be like around here without the Muppet boys. They’ve become the anchor of the farm’s animal population. They’re who kids come to visit on field trips. They’re sort of who we are. It’s definitely who I have become over the years: The Lady With The Alpacas. But this season is changing. Time to become a New Thing. I will have more time to devote to other projects that are actually supporting the farm, like the Yarn Crawl and the Fall Gift Market. But I will miss those furry monkeys so much. It’s good to know they’re not so far that we can’t still see them and maybe help with their fiber when the time comes.
So this is where we are. Third and Fourth Saturdays are still on, of course. Come snuggle with Luther and the cats and all the critters who will put up with it. The Farm is moving into a new chapter…