Alpacas at Windy Hill

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Reinventing Ourselves...Again!

2022 has been a year of Reinventing myself. After all, it’s been 10 years since the last time. My list included:
1. Reinvent my health;
2. Reinvent my alpaca business;
3. Reinvent the ranch.

So far…
I’m investigating Functional Medicine— we’ll see where that takes me.
I’ve upgraded my breeding stock to bump up my goals in the Show Ring and the future of the Fiber Industry.
And I’m learning all kinds of things about solar sprinkler timers, sequestering carbon, and regenerative forage.

I’m a firm believer that raising alpacas makes Lifelong Learners out of all of us.

Alpacas at Windy Hill and Faith & Fleece Alpacas just got back from our fall show. It was great fun, and a treasure trove of friends and new things to learn. We brought back some ribbons and had a great time. Now we will spend the winter taking to heart all the lessons learned and preparing for spring shows.

Yesterday Don and Gilberto spent a few hours planting an experimental cover crop in one the OB pasture. We planted radishes to break up the soil, alfalfa to fix nitrogen in the soil (creating “green manure”) and winter rye grass to provide good coverage so that no soil is left bare. Before all of it goes to seed we will turn it under and plant more crops that will serve as forage for the late term moms next spring and summer. It will also contribute to our newly-discovered “underground livestock”— the creatures and microbes that inhabit rich soil and make everything more productive. At least that’s what the book says. The result should be better coverage, a looser, richer soil that holds water better, thus decreasing sprinkler needs, and soil that holds onto carbon instead of letting it scatter to the winds (because it’s October and the winds are coming).
As I said. It’s an experiment. There is a lot more to Regenerative Agriculture. This is only a baby step. So far, so good.

Tomorrow is the first meeting of the Ventura County 4-H Alpaca Project for the year. This will be our 3rd year introducing 4-H kids and parents to alpacas and their amazing fleece. It’s great fun watching young hands hold a lead rope or a crochet hook for the first time and end up being Junior Leaders whose showmanship advances to showing alpacas at a certified AOA Show, or crocheting a scarf out of alpaca yarn. By the way, if you have kids (or grands) who you think might enjoy our program, give us a shout and we can get you connected with 4-H. We still have room in the program.

We are now taking applications for Volunteers on the ranch. Every year we get inquiries about volunteering, and we LOVE VOLUNTEERS! If you or someone you know might be interested in putting a few hours a month into learning more about alpacas, please email me at [email protected], and I will send you an application. We accept individuals and family groups. We would enjoy meeting you and matching you up with a job that suits our needs and your fun!

Here is a great opportunity we only offer in the Fall:
Lease An Alpaca, or “Went-A-Womb” as some call it, is a special program that allows you to lease one of our pregnant females and own the cria at the end of the pregnancy. You then have a cria of your own—the mother reverts to us— that you can enjoy from the beginning of its life, then train it and show it when it is old enough. Many alpaca owners have begun this way. It’s exciting to think about the cria as it develops, and handling the mother gives you the opportunity to learn all the things you need to know about ownership.

Here’s how it works:
You choose from our mothers who are available for lease (come out and talk to us about them).
Pay $200 a month for the full term of her pregnancy.
When the cria is born, your monthly payment is now applied to the cria instead of the mother.
Mother and cria remain at Alpacas at Windy Hill until the cria is weaning age. You can then choose whether to have alpacas at your own place, or continue to board your alpaca with us.
A simple, easy, economical way to slide into alpaca ownership, with 22 years of experience to coach you available at all times.

Ventura County Farm Day is coming up Saturday, November 5. We are open to the public from 10 am to 3 pm as part of this fantastic county-wide event. We will offer tours, Selfies with an Alpaca, Educational Moments, and Vendors— plan to do your Holiday Shopping! Strollers and wheel chairs are allowed.
Please remember to leave your pets at home.

They say we should all re-invent ourselves every 10 years. What about you?