A Fiber Farm Blog

Posts tagged ‘alpacas’

Be Mine

Happy Valentine’s Day!  Introducing new “Be Mine” Roving.  You can find it on Etsy @ https://www.etsy.com/shop/parsonsprairie.  It is 55% Alpaca/40% Wool/5% Nylon.  Perfect for sock yarn or any of your projects where you want the softness of alpaca, the memory of wool and the strength of nylon.  The alpaca comes from Sgt. Pepper.

Be Mine Roving 1

Be Mine Roving 2

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Be Mine Roving 3

 

Weather Outside is Frightful!

The weather in our area since the first of the year has been crazy!  Rain, snow, ice, high winds and brutally cold temps seem to have taken over.  We have had a few nicer days in between so it hasn’t been all bad, but it has definitely been a wintery start to the year.

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We always get asked how the animals are doing when the weather is extreme like this.  The alpacas are in almost full fleece and don’t have an issue with the cold at all.  They typically don’t have a problem with snow, but seem to prefer not to have to walk through it and won’t even try to graze with snow on the ground.  They don’t seem to like the wind.  They spend much of a cold, blustery winter day tucked away in their barns.  But if the sun is out and some grass is peaking through the snow, they will venture out no matter the temperature.

Bella stays safe and warm in the barn with the female alpacas.  Jeff worked this fall moving extra hay in the barns to keep some of the cold out.  It is amazing how warm it stays in the barn with all the animals in it.  Bella has re-arranged a bale or two of hay and made her bed tucked away in the corner of the barn.

The chickens stay close to the barns and roost in the rafters at night.  I’m sure it is plenty warm up there for them.  The cats live in the hay barn.  They have tunnels in between the hay bales and they are probably the warmest of all!

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There are always things that need to be done on the farm, so we have concentrated more so far this year on projects we can do inside.  Since we both have full time jobs outside of the farm, we have to get as much done in our spare time as possible.  Here is a little of what we have been working on when the weather outside is awful.

Dyeing fiber…..

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Spinning Colorway Samples

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Loading up Etsy with our new yarns and rovings…..

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Doing a physical inventory of our products and preparing merchandise orders for the spring sales season…..

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Keeping the driveway and pathways to the barns safe and clear of snow…..

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Even with the weather, this is an exciting time of year.  It’s a great time to get caught up on indoor projects, planning for the new year and watching that fiber grow!

Fall Farm Day – September 25th

Sweet 9

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.

Pink Pandemonium 1

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!

Mo 1

Welcome to the herd, Mo!