Monday, October 17, 2005

(No nipping!)

We finished off our weekend with a quick peek at the New England Coastal Classic Alpaca Show, up in New Gloucester, Maine.

Hal sort of has it in his head that he would like an alpaca farm; I can't see dropping anywhere from $20,000 to $100,000 (and even more in some cases) for one animal. Having been shipped off to my aunt's farm a number of times as a kid also has innoculated me against the romantic dream of many a young urban professional to 'get back to the earth.' Though I much prefer having fewer people around me, I don't need to buy the farm, so to speak.

While Hal was taking pictures, I got into a conversation with the manager of one of the farms showing. He mentioned that it was possible to get pet-grade alpacas for considerably less (do I really need a new laptop?). Since they don't take up that much space (one can easily keep four to six on an acre of land) and are relatively low maintenance, pet ownership might be doable. Having a couple animals around who would supply me with a bit of wool every now and again seems a bit more my speed than any major breeding or showing.

Speaking of wool: I succumbed to temptation and picked up enough wool to make a couple small scarves. It's a beautiful caramel color, is softer than cashmere or even merino, and came from a female named Raisin. I also bought an ounce and a half of roving in a deep, deep espresso brown - a fair bit cheaper than the yarn, and a great incentive to pull out the spindle again.


Yogo said...

This might sound dense, but what does one do with an alpaca? Is their value in the wool?

Be said...

To be honest with you, I'm not sure. Seriously, we were looking around for alpaca burger stand (didn't see anything like that, however). From what I can gather, the main thing is breeding for show. After that, for the wool.

The fellow I talked about mentioned that one of their farm's alpacas wasn't going to be shown anymore because he had a kink in his tail - he still had excellent wool, but couldn't pull a top price because of the visible genetic flaw.

Yogo said...

I wonder if I could live on a farm raising exotic animals? I think I could.

Be said...

You could get the farm and then hire a manager...there's a thought.

Yogo said...