Monday, 30 May 2016

Gardening (not our fvourite) has been the order of the day this weekend.  Preparing for new paths and a patio as well as moving what few plants we already have (less those that Romie, the dog, dug up for fun).  The builder is booked for this week in Devon time so we need to be prepared.

The alpacas are spending long periods playing dead in the sunshine and rolling in their dust bath from time to time.

Sunday, 29 May 2016


We are finally getting to grips with the sunken garden behind the house which has beem delayed partially because of Mike's ill health (now almost back to normal) and of course, the speed that weeds and grass take over on the rest of the small holding - especially now that we have fewer grazing animals.  The garden is going to be really great when finished.  Even in its rough state we are starting use it more because it is so peaceful and sheltered.

Some of the farm jobs have to be completed before the end of March by law to allow for birds and other crteatures to build their nests undisturbed.  Since then we have been dogged by rain plus lots of unexpected minor repairs and jobs taking up valuable time.

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Pet Sale

A really lovely lady came to visit us yesterday and is going to buy Perdita - a very pretty young female who really will be an asset to any breeding programme.

I think she is going to be more of a pet alpaca than farm livestock, which is really great.  Alpacas are so adaptable and even though we do not make pets of ours - we just love seeing them behave as normal alpacas - sometimes running around together, sometimes sunbathing or queuing up to cool themselves off in the water trough or dust baths that we make available to them.

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Shop in the Barn

Our shop in the barn is going really well.   There is more space to display our hand knits, yarn and socks and the pet stuff is starting to get local interest.

The alpacas are not really enjoying the rainy weather today.   They still have little fleece after shearing and so can be seen running to shelter when the heavy showers start.

With fewer alpacas the grass is not being grazed so heavily which is good in that they always have fresh grass, but means that in order to fight the buttercups and other unwanted weeds we have to top the fields from time to time.  Not possible in the rain!

Friday, 13 May 2016

Back to Normal at Laurel Farm

Well it is ages since I have blogged but Mike is now pretty much back to his old self and the skies are blue and the sun is out.

We have simplified the farm by removing and not replacing a lot of rotting fences and as we have downsized the herd it all looks a lot more open.

Although we only have twenty alpacas now, we are expecting five cria between now and July.  We will be selling off some more of the older alpacas in an effort to keep the numbers down but still have a good quality young herd.

We have moved the farm shop into the barn as we no longer need it for animals and it is much more spacious and welcoming for visitors.  We can still use it for storing hay and straw and of course the alpaca fleeces after shearing.

Colin, the shearer, came last Saturday and I now have about twenty bags of fleece to sort and grade ready to send to the mill for spinning.   We now sell into a co-operative and buy back what yarn we want for our hand knits or to yarn.

Charlie and Dolly, the dogs that I still compete with in agility are doing well.   Dolly had a win at her last show and so has gone up a grade.

Mike is enjoying the company of fellow enthusiasts in a local club that he has joined.  Now that he is in good health again he is feeling much more like getting out and about.