Saturday & Sunday, Sept 17-18 at 11 a.m.—BRANDON—During the month of September alpaca breeders from across the United States will invite the public to come to the farm to meet their alpacas and learn more about these inquisitive, unique animals.
On Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 17 and 18, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Maple View Farm Alpacas and the Vermont Fiber Mill & Studio will welcome guests to the farm and mill in Brandon. Located on 100 scenic acres, Maple View Farm currently is home to 20 alpacas, including several crias born this summer. The farm and mill are located at 185 Adams Road, off Arnold District Road, north of Brandon.
Alpacas, cousins to the llama, are native to the Andean mountain range of South America, particularly Peru, Bolivia, and Chile. Alpacas were first imported into the United States in 1984. Since then, the alpaca industry has grown steadily with over 100,000 alpacas are currently registered with the Alpaca Registry, Inc. (ARI) in the United States.
There are two types of alpacas. The Huacaya (wa-KI’-ah) is the more common of the two and has a fluffy, extremely fine coat. The Suri is the rarer of the two and has fiber that is silky and resembles pencil-locks. Maple View Farm has Huacaya alpacas.
Alpacas are alert, intelligent and curious. Social animals that seek companionship, alpacas communicate by softly humming.
Alpacas are shorn, without harm, annually. They produced five to 10 pounds of luxurious fiber, sometimes compared to cashmere as it is so soft. Alpaca is just as warm as, yet one third the weight of, wool. It comes in 22 natural colors, yet can be dyed any desired shade. Vermont Fiber Mill & Studio processes their alpaca fiber into batts, roving, yarn and felt.
Containing no lanolin, alpaca fiber is also naturally hypoallergenic. Most people who are sensitive to wool find that they can wear alpaca without the itching or irritation they feel from wool. Performance characteristics include stretch, water repellency and odor reduction.
During the open house, visitors will be able to visit with the alpacas, observe the mill operations and see fiber demonstrations.
To find out more, visit mapleviewfarmalpacas.com or call 802-247-5412.
Photo courtesy of Maple View Farm Alpacas
Visitors to Maple View Farm Alpacas get an up close encounter with one of the farm’s Huacaya alpacas.