A Fiber Farm Blog

Posts tagged ‘alpacas’

Fall Farm Day – September 25th

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Are you Coming?

Imagine

We’re waiting for you!

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And watching for you.

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We’re discussing and making plans.

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And promise to be on our best behavior.

Because Parsons’ Prairie Farm’s 2016 Fall Farm Day is almost here!

Last year we were so busy and had so much going on that we decided to cancel Fall Farm Day………a decision we regretted almost from the minute it was made.  We so missed opening up the farm to visitors, meeting new friends and the enjoyment of sharing our farm with others.  I vowed we would not miss a Fall Farm Day again!   So come on out to the farm on Sunday afternoon, September 25th and see what we are all about.  Learn about the alpacas and the fiber they produce.  Shop the farm store for handspun yarns and hand dyed yarns, rovings and craft felts.  Start your Holiday shopping early by browsing our selection of alpaca socks, hats and gloves as well as hand made soaps, made right on the farm!  Try your luck at fishing in the farm pond, gather eggs in the hen house or just sit, relax and enjoy the farm day refreshments.

Things to keep in mind:

So far, every year that we have held Fall Farm Day we have been blessed with perfect weather!  But we will hold the 2016 Fall Farm Day rain or shine, so come prepared for the weather.  If the weather is nice, we will open the front female alpaca pasture so you can move among the alpacas.  If it rains, we will figure out a way that visitors can view the alpacas close up and stay dry at the same time.  In any kind of weather though, if you want to move among the alpacas, make sure to wear poop-proof footwear!

We would like to invite you to try your luck at fishing in our farm pond.  We will mow down to the north pond (you will be able to drive down there if you wish) and will mow around the pond.  Bring a pole, bait, a chair and bug spray to make your experience more enjoyable.  Of course, all children must be accompanied by an adult.

We want your visit to be enjoyable.  Feel free to wander the property and take all the pictures you want.  If you find a nice, out of the way place to relax and enjoy the farm, please feel free to do so.  Poke your head into the hay barn and look for the many (too many) barn cats that call the farm home.  Check out the fruit trees, berry bushes and grapevines in the back yard.  Whatever you choose to do, enjoy your farm visit!

Farm Day No Pets Policy – please do not bring your pets to Farm Day.  We currently only have one dog, our livestock guardian dog, Bella on the farm.  Bella has a job to do and although she might be visiting with Fall Farm Day guests, she is always alert and ready to defend the alpacas.  Bringing other pets to Farm Days could possibly cause either your animals or ours to be hurt.   We will all have a better experience if all pets are left at home.

Feel free to contact us should you have any questions.  Look forward to seeing you on Fall Farm Days!

Jeff & Kim Overbey

 

Shearing Day!

Shearing Day is once again upon us! And, this year at least, it can’t come a minute too soon. It has been unseasonably warm and a few days it was downright humid. The alpacas and I will be relieved when they have all that fiber off! Right now we plan for the shearers to arrive around 7:00 a.m. Wednesday, April 15th. As always we welcome visitors. If you would like to participate we can certainly find a job for you. If you would prefer to just pull up a chair and watch, we would love to have you do so.

Watch the blog for any changes to our shearing date and time. We try to be as flexible as possible to accommodate the shearers schedule.

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The boys before shearing

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The same boys after shearing! Always makes me laugh!

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2014 Harvest

Pink Pandemonium – Blended Roving

Get ready for the next batch of blended roving…….Pink Pandemonium.  This is a blend of 70% alpaca (a natural beige) and 30% bamboo (dyed a shocking red/pink color).

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The roving is already up on the website at http://www.naturalfiberfarm.com and comes in 4 ounce bundles.

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The alpaca fiber came from Ringo who has soft, fine fiber with beautiful crimp.  Ringo is one of our shy males and can always be counted on as a good & safe buddy when we move the male weanlings over to the “big boy” pasture.

Ringo

So…..do you know who your roving comes from?

 

 

Shearing Day

Shearing Day 2014 was a huge success.  First of all, we couldn’t have asked for better weather….both on Saturday and the few days leading up to shearing.  We didn’t have to put all the alpacas in the big barn until Friday night which made for a much less stressful time for them.  Brian and his team arrived shortly before 7:00 a.m. and got right to work.  We were so fortunate this year to have our niece Briana, as well as Stephanie & Sarah all vet students at the University of Illinois here to help out.  Our daughter Kellie also joined in on the fun.   Not only did the girls do a great job, but they brought a lot of fun and laughter to the morning as well.  Now, it’s time to start working with the 2014 clip.

Below are just a few of the many pictures I took Saturday.  Enjoy!

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Mo

The first cria born on our farm, PARSONSPF Momentum (his around the barn nickname is Mo) is almost 9 months old and I thought deserved an update post.  I went out this morning to take some pictures of our first real snowstorm of the year and found Mo more than willing to be in front of the camera.

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I realized today what a beautiful alpaca Mo is turning out to be.  Mo’s sire is PARSONSPF Frisco and dam is PARSONSPF PowderKeg.  He has received the dense, fine fiber of his sire and the long staple length and bright fleece characteristics of his dam.

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Mo has been put in a pasture with Imagine and Revolution for weaning and other than spending his first night away from mom by sleeping next to Balto, he has handled the change like a pro!

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Welcome to the herd, Mo!

Shearing Day 2013

Shearing Day 2013 was on April 10th.  And what a cold and rainy day it was!  It actually started raining on Monday, the 8th so by Sunday evening we had all the alpacas (all 34 of them) tucked away in the big barn to stay dry.  By the time shearing day came around, they were none too happy!

Shearing Day Prep 1

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Even Balto wondered what all the fuss was about.

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The day started off only in the upper 30s and with a cold rain.  It continued to rain all day long and only made it into the 40s by the end of the day.  But Brian and his crew from Shearing Alpacas got there promptly at 9:00 a.m. and got to work.

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I will tell you, because of Brian and his crew, this was the easiest, least stressful shearing I have ever been through!  I would highly recommend them!

CSA fiber has already left the farm and has arrived at the fiber processor, Shepherd’s Mill, Phillipsburg, KS for processing.

Just Need a Little Momentum (Mo)

I won’t lie and say that the last 5 months or so has been the best.  There has been a lot of worry, a little sickness and then a lot more worry.  We have had weeks around here where it didn’t seem like one thing was going our way.  And to add to the stress and worry, the winter has seemed to have lasted forever!  But we have had many, many good things happen the last few months as well.  Along with that bad winter, we received much snow and a changed weather pattern that has brought enough moisture to end our drought.  Our ponds have filled back up and our pastures are green once again.  We were able to re-stock the ponds a few weeks ago and just this weekend have gotten our garden planted for the year.   The hens began laying eggs this winter and we now have fresh, delicious eggs every day.  So now that it looks like Spring has finally arrived, we just needed that push, that little momentum shift to begin seeing life on the warm, bright, sunny side again.  And that little momentum that we needed arrived on Thursday as the first cria born on our farm.

We had done a little breeding last spring, but to tell you the truth, the summer was so horribly hot that we didn’t want to put the alpacas through the stress of a test.  We had determined that several of the alpacas that we had bred were not sound.  We did not know for sure about PowderKeg but felt certain that she was not pregnant.  Nevertheless, we kept watch just in case.  On Thursday afternoon she delivered our first cria on the farm, a male.   His name is Momentum, PARSONSPF Momentum to be exact, but his around the barn nickname will be Mo.  Our sweet Great Pry, Balto was there watching over him the minute he was born.

Mo & Balto

Then the alpaca aunties took over, cleaning him up and making him presentable.

Aunties at Work

It looks like Mo hates it when adults spit and try to smooth down his fiber just like human kids hate is when their moms do the same thing.  Uggh!  Why do us moms always do that???

Spit Wash

Now, at 3 days old, Mo is a clean, happy, beautiful and energetic new cria.

Mo & Mom

You just never know when your momentum is going to change for the better!

Momentum