The alpaca lifestyle is totally gratifying. In the early 90's I lived in Miami, Florida. A beautiful place on the blue waters of Biscayne Bay where the sun came up orange every morning, every day was warm, the salt spray wouldn't allow vegetables to grow and there were no seasons. The worst part was I missed my small alpaca herd and had to fly all over the country to train them for the showring.
Yes, the showring was the only thing I could do. It was the only way to share in the kissing, spitting, humming, pain and joy of owning my growing herd. I missed all the real upside of the alpaca. Birthing the new cria. Indeed, having my own cria kit and feeling important when that first breath is followed by the second. My sister Anna & I traveled to Peru, bought sweaters and carpets and were thoroughly immersed in "the alpaca lifestyle" but from a distance.
We won big at the shows. Caligula was one of the main reasons. I had bought a half interest and bred him to the females I owned and some that I bought already bred to him. Small Breeder of The Year awards were getting commonplace, so were Grand Championships and Blues but the shows were always great and new. Great new friends from all walks of life in an atmosphere of camaraderie and good cheer.
Finally it happened. Only 8 years ago I bought the most beautiful farm I've ever seen. It's in Virginia, a state my mom always said was her favorite. It's 160 acres of green or white or orange rolling hills according to the season. My herd, now numbering 140 whiskered alpacas dot the landscape. Last year our barn, which matches the old stone "country French" style of the house was finished. What a colossal pleasure. Upstairs will be a facility for my fleeces and seminars. As I write, I've contracted with a group who is installing state of the art cameras both inside and out with a "roaming" camera to show you any particular alpaca "live." I'll be able to watch the farm over the internet no matter where I am.
The farm is run by me. I wouldn't relinquish that pleasure for all the world but I have a great Team! If you're in trouble or need some advice just call. My personal assistant is Diane Hume. If I'm not around you're inquiries will be well taken care of by her.
We look forward to your calls and emails and would be happy to have you visit. Mary