Friday, January 23, 2009

Our First Grand Daughter is Here!

After the year we had in 2008, as a family, as an Alpaca Farmer, as a business owner, and as a Mom, a Wife, now a Grandmother, and a person, I didn't think 2009 could get any more wild but then you take something like the miracle of birth and your heart skips a beat.

My oldest daughter gave birth to a beautiful baby girl on Wednesday 1/21/09 at 5:49 A.M., weighing 6lbs 5oz and measuring 20 inches. Kelly and Matt named her Erin Florence and every time I set my eyes on her I am just completely awestruck. No matter how much you think you are ready for something like this, it always catches you off guard.

We are all so excited, and can't wait for them to settle in with their new bundle of joy, there is nothing quite like having a little one running around the farm, and we couldn't be more excited for it.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Our Holiday Ohio Trip - 2 New Herdsires!

(Note: Images of the new boys will be added a.s.a.p.)

Right after the holidays we made a trip to Ohio. Before Thanksgiving I had purchased a young male alpaca with the hopes of adding him to our herd sire row. I am always on the look out for up and coming males that can add to my breeding program and when I saw Asteroid's Kryptonite listing from Starling Farm, he immediately caught my eye. After looking at his fiber samples, and pedigree I made the decision to purchase him.

We planned our trip right after Christmas as our window of opportunity to travel was very limited. Chris has a very aggressive travel schedule and we are also expecting our first grand daughter the beginning of February. With our fingers crossed we decided to leave on Dec. 27, 08. I have to say we couldn't of picked a better weekend weather wise, it was clear and mild. It was almost hard to believe that the week prior, New York and Ohio had a snow storm each that dropped 12 inches. Fate was on our side!

On the way we also made a stop at Spirit Wind Alpaca Farm and had a wonderful visit with Karen and Jerry. If time had not been pressing us I could of stayed for hours talking alpacas and fiber. We finished the rest of our journey that day arriving in Ohio at 7:00 pm and the temperature was 67 degrees (unheard of for the time of year).

The plan was to pick up Kryptonite at 8:00 the following morning. We were also transporting another alpaca "Just Sam" for Cyndee Thompson in New Hampshire. Just prior to arriving at the farm my nerves started racing and I began questioning my decision. I asked myself, Were my expectations too high? and Was I going to be disappointed? Having never seen the animal first hand, there is always that gut feeling that you missed something in the photos and fiber samples. It would have been very disappointing to travel all that distance to be let down, but I have to say all those questions quickly disappeared the minute I laid eyes on him. It was love at first sight and he was more than I expected him to be. It was so great to meet his owner in person, Jackie Kraft. We had talked so many times through email or on the phone and now I had the opportunity to meet her in person and put a face with the name and voice.

We loaded up the "boys" and had a brief visit before packing up ourselves and heading back towards home. We had one more stop to make and that was at Humalot Alpaca Farm. Brenda and Jim were only an hour away from Jackie Craft and I didn't want to miss the chance to meet them and some of their alpacas. I had called her the day before and told her we would be in the area and if possible to stop in. Being a holiday weekend you just never know what peoples plans are. They warmly welcomed us with a tour of their farm and alpacas, finished off with a great cup of coffee. We enjoyed our visit so much and their alpacas we bought one more. Humalot Black Tiger. Tiger is just over a year old, is true black, with a fine, yet dense beautifully crimped fiber which is very hard to find in black so I'm happy to add him to our herd sire lineup. In this one trip across half the country and back we managed to add some great genetics to our existing herd and are excited about future breedings.

The trip was so much fun but a little too rushed for my liking. We left here on my birthday, Sat. morning at 4:30am, stopped at three alpaca farms, spanning over 1400 miles and still managed to arrive at our farm by 10pm Sunday. Birthday's don't get much better than that!!! I wonder how I can top it next year.

Monday, January 12, 2009

United Nations: International Year for Natural Fibers 2009

Since 1959 the United Nations has designated International years in order to draw attention to major issues and to encourage international action to address concerns which have global importance and ramifications. This year, the UN has named 2009 as it's International Year for Natural Fibers.

The goals of the UN are:
* raise awareness and stimulate demand for natural fibres;
* promote the efficiency and sustainability of the natural fibres industries;
* encourage appropriate policy responses from governments to the problems faced by natural fibre industries;
* foster an effective and enduring international partnership among the various natural fibres industries.

"Since the 1960s, the use of synthetic fibres has increased, and natural fibres have lost a lot of their market share. The main objective of the International Year of Natural Fibres is to raise the profile of these fibres, to emphasise their value to consumers while helping to sustain the incomes of the farmers. Promoting measures to improve the efficiency and sustainability of production is also an important aspect of the Year." - Food and Agriculture Organization of United Nations

We couldn't be more excited about the possibilities for growth in the U.S. Alpaca Fiber Industry this upcoming year as more and more Alpaca Farms embrace the Fiber side of their businesses.

For more information on this International Effort, you can visit their Site, or download their press kit.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Bird Watching on this Rainy Day!

Here is a quick video we shot with our new HD Camera, the Canon HV30. We couldn't be happier with it! Tons of different birds in this one, including our Wild Turkeys!

Bird Watching on this Rainy Day from goldentouchfarm on Vimeo.

Friday, January 2, 2009

New Puppy on the Farm!

New Puppy! from Corey Riley on Vimeo.

We have a new puppy on the farm! Her name is Sophie and she is a Golden Retriever, 8.5 weeks old. She is a little ball of terror, but we love her all the same. It has been too long since we have had a puppy in the house. Enjoy!