I'm sad to have to report that a local alpaca farm has gone out of business. The Rancho Rio Vista in Rio Dell, CA had a "Lost the Farm" sale yesterday, and my new friend Linda Hartshorn (who makes the most beautiful woven thingies) gave me a ride there, and this is what I came home with.
I met Donna, the owner of the farm, who has 13 alpacas & llamas, including 2 Suris which are much less common than the regular Huacaya breed and much silkier, too. She had both the fleece (called 'blankets') and the animals that donated them up for sale, 1/2 off. I only had about $6.37 in my pocket after rolling up some pennies, but Aunt Janet loaned me another 50 cents, and Donna gave me an even better deal, and I ended up with 1lb 10oz of scrumptious white Suri fiber from 'Milo' for under $7! Donna even threw in a copy of the alpaca farmers' trade mag, Alpacas. And Janet gave me a sample of the black fleece she bought and carded up on the spot; that's the wad of kitty-soft brown fiber at the bottom. (Good thing I wasn't in the market for an animal: the one I asked about, a pregnant female, had an asking price of $8k, which I understand now is quite a bargain! That would really be a LOT of pennies.)
Sad 'cuz you didn't get any of the sale alpaca fiber? Wanna become an alpaca farmer? You can buy the Ranch, all 15 acres with a view from the 2,200sqft house, for only $649,000! Check out the pics and details HERE. Then buy it, and CALL ME!! (In all seriousness, though, my heart goes out to Donna, and I wish her all the best as she sells her home, farm, and animals and in her move to Eureka.)