Bringing Alpacas into the Fold of Small Sustainable Farms
to escape the Rat Race
to do something tangible and real
to get out of the traffic and the lights of the city
to give their children a healthier place to grow up
to get back to their roots
because their Inner Rancher has finally broken free…
They raise specialty produce to sell locally to restaurants and farmer’s markets. They till their own soil, plant their own seeds, live on the land, and are content with making a comfortable living. They realize that in farming, they already “have it all”.
Aside from orchards and vegetables, small farmers often have livestock of one kind or another, and I would like to make the argument that the Alpaca is the ideal livestock for the small, sustainable farm.
Alpacas are about as Green as an animal can be! They
don’t churn up the turf or the sod with their padded feet
nibble grass rather than pulling it up by the roots
are neat and clean about where they deposit their manure
don’t require slaughter to produce a viable product
make very efficient use of their food, leaving manure that is low in nitrogen and greenhouse gases
create extremely rich and “cool” fertilizer
produce a luxury fleece that does not require harsh chemicals and hot water to process
are gentle and easy to handle.
Rotating crops with fallow fields and alpaca pasture would help the soil maintain its richness, making everything work well together.
(Thanks to http://s3.freefoto.com/images/07/09/07_09_4_prev.jpg)
If one were to design a small farm from scratch, it could include
produce to sell locally
chickens to provide eggs, pest control, fertilizer and meat
composting to recycle by-products into fertilizer
alpacas to fertilize the land and produce fleece
farm-made food products such as jam or apple butter
home-made products using alpaca fleece and other natural fibers.
Here are some resources that might inspire you, give you ideas and connect you with your Inner Farmer/Rancher.
California Small Farm Conference-- http://www.californiafarmconference.com
Farms Reach-- http://www.farmsreach.com/welcome/
Give it some thought. It might just be what you have been trying to do all your life. It took me 50 years, but I got here, and I’ve never been happier!
Join our mailing list and come out to Alpacas at Windy Hill to find out more.
Alpacas at Windy Hill ~ Cindy Harris & Doug Fieg ~ www.alpacalink.com ~ [email protected]
7660 Bradley Rd. Somis, CA 93066 ~ (805) 907-5162