Arts, Dining & Entertainment

Maple View Farm Alpacas to host holiday open house

Nov. 24-25—BRANDON— Maple View Farm Alpacas will host its annual holiday open house on Nov. 24-25 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. each day. Learn about these gentle, intelligent fiber animals.

Owners Ed and Debbie Bratton said,“We are very excited to be participating in the Holiday Farm Open House again this year. We have some folks who look forward to the open house and return each year while also meeting many new people. It’s fun!”

The fiber mill and studio located on the farm will also be open so visitors will also be able to learn how fiber is turned into yarn and other products. The mill processes fiber into high quality batts, roving, yarn and felt. The FeltLoom, which creates felt fabric from carded fiber, will be demonstrated on both days.

Maple View Farm Alpacas, located at 185 Adams Road, one mile off Route 7 north of Brandon, is home to a growing herd of 23 alpacas, including three crias (baby alpacas) born this year. The alpaca is a member of the South American Camelid family which also includes llamas, guanacos and vicunas. All of the alpacas at Maple View Farm are Huacaya, a “teddy bear-like” alpaca with dense, crimpy fiber.

Alpaca fiber has remarkable softness, fineness, warmth and strength. It comes in an extraordinary variety of 22 natural colors, ranging from pure white to fawns, browns, grey and true jet black. The alpaca has developed more thermal capacity in its fiber than almost any other animal, making it a natural insulator; and without lanolin found in many other fibers, it is also naturally hypoallergenic. Many people who are sensitive to wool find that they can wear alpaca without the itching or irritation they feel from wool because alpaca fiber is smooth.

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Photo courtesy Maple View Farm

A few alpacas stand around with shorn fiber, save for a crimpy layer atop their heads.

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