Hoosier Heartland Alpacas LLC: Blog
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Wednesday, May 23, 2018

End of the Chapter, Turning the Page!

Good bye, Farewell to Padre, CT, Phuz, Mojo, Boots & Donna....

Good bye, Farewell to Padre, CT, Phuz, Mojo, Boots & Donna....

We began our alpaca journey when we took possession of our first alpacas in May 2010. We started with 4 males that came to us from Pennsylvania, later that year we got 2 females and a cria that came from a Bankruptcy sale in Northern Indiana....and the end of that year we added 3 pregnant females from a farm in Iowa. The next year, we added 3 babies from those who came pregnant...and then we began our breeding program. Over the years, we had as many as 31 alpacas on 2 fenced acres that we had installed all rotational pastures to help with the grass and parasites.

Over the years, we learned to shear to save costs and we also began growing our own hay and purchased our own hay equipment...and thankfully a hay elevator.

We enjoyed this Chapter almost as long as it lasted. What made us want to change? We started adding grandkids to the family but unfortunately, they did not really live close so we really wanted to be freer to go see them and just visit with them when they came to see us. We now have 10 grandkids in 5 states. We are blessed.

We really began downsizing about 2 years ago to make the herd size more manageable for us because the farm helpers that we had, also grew up and got real lives so we began going to visit family separately while the other stayed home to take care of business.

About 3 weeks ago we decided that we were just done. We decided to have a Herd Dispersal Sale and just move them all. We only had 3 males and 6 females so we were really to the point that if anyone wanted males, they had to have all 3 of them because they are herd animals and needed to be together. Same with the girls.......3 maidens and 3 proven females. So, we had 3 packages for sale or the whole herd. We ended up selling the package of maidens last weekend, and the other 6 just left today. It was bittersweet, to say the least.

What's next? God only knows. At the beginning of the year, our friend Martha and I who usually do fiber shows together lost the first one of the year because they canceled it. And then the next one there was some miscommunication so we did not get into it before it filled up. All along, I kept saying God must have a better plan for us. I know he does. While we no longer have farm animals other than chickens, the farm will be changed. We will no longer have tours.....but we will always have a farm store full of really nice alpaca items and lots of fiber and handspun and mill spun yarns available to you. Who knows, now maybe we can do some classes out here. We still have plenty of fiber to play with, and it is being listed in our Etsy Shop and on our Website in various stages from raw, to washed, carded, rolags, yarn, to knitted and felted items.....We are still in business but we no longer have alpacas in residence. If you plan on coming to shop in the farm store, please plan that a day in advance so we won't miss you.

So, while we play in fiber and the garden and bale hay, we will still be here and we will still be Hoosier Heartland Alpacas. Find us on Facebook, Instagram, Etsy, and Twitter.

Most importantly, we do sincerely thank all of you for supporting our small farm for the past 8 years. We appreciate you all so very much!

Memory making.....

Memory making.....


Friday, May 11, 2018

Our first TV interview...........

The very first preview sent to us weeks ago.

The very first preview sent to us weeks ago.

Exciting to see what others think from their perspective.....this interview was done in very early April when it was still wintertime here on the farm. It was freezing that day so the Farmer's Wife had to wear her purple coat and coveralls AGAIN. They finally got washed this week to be put away until cold weather comes again (hopefully not until about December). If you click on the blue link below it will take you to the interview. Jonathan Wahl with WHAS11 did a very fine job portraying our farm.

From Farm to Fleece: Alpaca Farming in Kentuckiana

The photographer on the other side of the pond.

The photographer on the other side of the pond.

The photographer chatting with the girls....I think he was teaching them how to say CHEESE

The photographer chatting with the girls....I think he was teaching them how to say CHEESE


Monday, March 12, 2018

Our Cabana Girl Gets Married!

It's been a long time since we've discussed our Cabana Girl. Mallory was our very first Cabana Girl here on the farm. She loved our alpacas and worked (VOLUNTEERED) here 2 or 3 evenings each week her Senior year of high school. She would help us out at some of the open houses that we had hosted during her time here with us and even afterwards would come home from Purdue to be with the alpacas and our other farm animals. We could even leave for a whole week for vacation and Mallory would stay here at our house and take care of all the house pets, and barn critters. We were really blessed to have Mallory to help us out on our farm. Well, Mallory is now at Purdue University and studying to be a Vet. She is nearly there. Saturday, she married her best friend James. Eoghan, Mallory's bunny was the honorable ring bearer for the wedding, he is a Certified Therapy Bunny and is one of West Lafayette's finest citizens. James loved Mallory so much that he agreed to dress up as Santa's Elves with her and be at our Christmas Open House the past two years when Santa arrived. They are an awesome couple and we look forward to seeing the adventures they will take on this new journey called Marriage. We love you Mallory and James. We also hope maybe we can snag you for a few days while we take a short break..........

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Preparing for the Christmas Open House

Yes, where are those elves when we need them........I honestly can not believe that this will be our 8th Annual Christmas Open House. Time sure does fly. Our first Christmas Open House, 8 years ago was also the first dusting of snow and it was absolutely gorgeous. Just before the open house started that morning, somehow....our Anatolian Shepherds escaped their safe confines and decided to go traipsing thru the snow. It is a wonder that we got them back because they were only about a year old. The Farmer also got to plow the driveway that morning so it was a very busy morning that day so long ago.....

We never know what kind of weather to expect....snow...bitter cold...warm & sunny or even rainy. You just never know about the weather, after all, it is Indiana. What we do know is this. Our barn has begun its transformation into the winter wonderland we hope it will be. This year the elves have been busy making more decorations that will enhance your experience and there are lots of planning and preparations going on daily. We are excited.

We are also excited that Santa and his elves will visit us for our open house again this year, we are so happy that they can take a break from their duties at the North Pole to be with us for two hours so we sure hope you'll bring the youngsters and your camera for the many photo opportunities that await you. Santa and his elves will be here from 1-3pm on Saturday November 25th. This is also known as Small Business Saturday, and it is definitely the Saturday following Thanksgiving. The open house itself will be from 10am-4pm that day so if you don't want to tell Santa what is on your wish list, you can come anytime between 10-4 that day. The Farmer's Wife and her friend Martha have been very busy creating beautiful alpaca items for you and your loved ones....so we really hope you'll join us.

We will announce our Christmas season hours very soon so stay tuned.

Thanks for reading this, and if you'd like to share it, please feel free.

Directions
From US Hwys 50 & 31
Go North on US 31 approximately 3.5 miles
Turn right onto County Road 900 N, at the 2nd Stop Sign you will turn left onto CR 1300 E/1000 W. We are ½ mile on the right.

Hoosier Heartland Facebook Event Page

Friday, October 27, 2017

Carroll County, KY FFA



Today we had the Carroll County, Kentucky FFA Chapter visit our farm. They had just finished attending their National FFA Convention in Indianapolis and were headed back home but decided to stop in and visit us and learn all about alpacas and what you can do with them. Awesome group of young adults.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Hay, Hay, HAY........we have hay!

Yes, we do sell hay. Some of the things that cost you so much money you learn how to do it yourself and one of our biggest expenses was buying hay. We invested in some used equipment and grow our own hay to feed our herd of Suri Alpacas. We keep enough for our own use but also have plenty for sale. It is orchard grass hay, square bales and weigh about 40-50 pounds. Light enough that the Farmer's Wife can handle them. Let us know if you want to come out and get hay. One of us will be more than happy to help you. $3.50/$4.50 per bale. It is great hay, and because we don't have to wait for someone else to come and bale for us (like we used to do) we have somewhat of a control over when we get to cut, so long as the weatherman cooperates.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

The Creative Mind

Left side are bags ready to spin, and then the fluff is ready to be carded...

Left side are bags ready to spin, and then the fluff is ready to be carded...

The mind is a wonderful thing....

This morning while awaiting daylight so I could go scoop poo in the barn I searched patterns that I'd love to use, both chunky style and lace weight ones. Yes, I wasted more printer paper because I printed off about 10 patterns......now to find the right yarns or make the perfect yarns to go along with the patterns that will be offered to you in our Farm Store.....and then, I went to the barn.

Yes, I've told you many times I do most of my best thinking while in the barn......not sure why but that's just the way it happens. Today, I dreamed of things that I could make for the store that would be different. I thought of some really neat shawl pins.....would involve power tools....and time for the wood to cure...so if that's the case, I better get on it soon. And then, there were the cool alpaca ornaments.....again, power tools involved. I dreamed of painting things, weaving things....sewing things. And then, just like that the barn is done. Chickens are taken care of. And, I am back in the house. Writing to you. Ready to wake the dogs for our days journey.....and reality sets in. Probably won't get to knit those patterns, or cut wood.....because you see I have so many fun things that I like to do. The sink has 2 containers of wild blackberries soaking so that I can put them in the freezer for jam or wine on a later date. Then, there are 6 pineapples that need to be cut up and canned for a baked treat or frozen for smoothies. And peas....need picked, snipped and frozen.

And then, it's supposed to rain later today so I will probably get on my little garden tractor and mow down a couple of pastures and spread some fertilizer.........always something to do.

Here's a cute video of our girls being lazy, trying to stay cool in front of the fan. If you have any desire to begin your own journey into the alpaca industry let us know. We do have all of our herd listed for sale, we'd like to downsize some to a more manageable size for us so let us know if we can help you begin your journey.

Rug yarn, core spun 3# each

Rug yarn, core spun 3# each

Rug yarn, core spun 3# each

Rug yarn, core spun 3# each

Rug yarn, core spun 3# each

Rug yarn, core spun 3# each

Rug yarn, core spun 3# each

Rug yarn, core spun 3# each


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Alpacas and other critters!

Alpacas do not always and should not always be allowed to be in with other animals due to others parasites......here is a great article in an alpaca magazine that was published by our friend Jill McElderry Maxwell who owns Bag End Suri Alpacas of Maine llc. She is a parasite expert.

Here is the link for the magazine, simply click on the LINK below and it will take you directly to page 28 of the magazine where the article begins. Once you get there, you will see an arrow to the center right side and just by clicking on it will let you turn the pages where you may see moire information regarding other critters with alpacas, it spans a few pages. This article appears in a national magazine called PurelySuri and has now been translated into Norwegian. Jill is highly respected in the alpaca industry for her knowledge of parasites.

PurelySuri Magazine

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

It's nearly time for harvest...............

Girls stall raked clean...

Girls stall raked clean...

It is nearly harvest time for us....fiber harvest that is. Because we are fiber farmers we wait for this all year. We shear once a year.

During winter, we put down a nice straw bed for all the alpacas so they can hunker down and stay warm on long winter days and nights. They love their beds. As things start heating up, we begin preparing for shearing, because they are starting to get nice and toasty warm in their winter coats. And, then they begin rolling in the spent, broken up pieces of hay and of course, that all gets embedded in their fiber so we start removing all of that in hopes that what's in their fiber will fall out and they won't pick up any new stuff in their coats. It is quite a job to remove all the bedding and usually takes us a whole entire day to do so. This year, we did it different...because it was a warmer winter than our normal...we were able to start hauling out some extra each time we hauled out the gold...alpaca gold...best stuff around for your gardens. But alas, little here and there, wasn't enough so the fun begins. I removed 9 tubs of straw from the girls side one morning, and in the evening, we then removed 9 tubs from the little boys side. The next couple of days, we began cleaning out the big boys side..... I am pretty sure we took out about 15 tubs of straw from their side. (they get more bedding since they are on the North side where it is much colder) Now, it is clean. Routine maintenance daily (twice a day) raking out their stalls and areas so that when they roll, they won't pick up anything extra for us to contend with come shearing day. We finally just a few days ago let them out on fresh green pastures and they were more than ready for it since it was early November when they were last on it. That also helps remove some stuff from their fiber, when they run and also when they plop down on the fresh green grass and roll.
Tubs of winter straw bedding ready to be hauled away....

Tubs of winter straw bedding ready to be hauled away....

Handy dandy rake and pitchfork...

Handy dandy rake and pitchfork...

Phuzzy Boy Phloyd wondering what is happening to his deep straw bed.

Phuzzy Boy Phloyd wondering what is happening to his deep straw bed.

Moms and babies in their cleaned dry lot area....

Moms and babies in their cleaned dry lot area....


Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Morning Girls................

Today is a rainy day.....2 in a row now. Snow is expected this weekend. We have had a very blessed winter.....very mild....very unnatural for Indiana. In January it was warm enough I got bit by a tick. In February, we had flies and mosquitoes. We've only had a couple of dustings of snow. Saturday, the weatherman predicts about 9 inches of white fluff. The alpacas will LOVE it. They haven't really enjoyed the temps that I have...they are still wearing their winter coats for another 6-8 weeks.

Because of the rain, the girls pretty much refuse to go outside to the bathroom.....the only good thing I see about this is I don't get wet and I don't have to haul those buckets so far. Guess I should be thankful they are thinking of me.