It feels like midsummer rather than the beginning of Fall. I know the alpacas have enjoyed the cooler evenings and dewy mornings but they still struggle with humid afternoons.
We have begun our Saturday (and Tuesday) Farmers Market schedule. The popularity of summer markets is something we look forward to each year – as consumers. Alpaca products are not welcome by most in the summer months. No one wants to think about warm winter hats, scarves and mittens when the temperature is in the 90’s. So alpaca owners have a shorter sales season.
As we all know, the pandemic has forced many small businesses to close. Please consider shopping local, small businesses this holiday season. Farmers and artisans work hard for to stay afloat. Let’s support these local workers who have remained open by purchasing, sharing information on social media, and spreading the news to Buy Local & Support Small Business.
KAVE ROCK FARM
142 Reservoir Avenue – Rehoboth, MA.
HOLIDAY OPEN BARN
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 5
11:00am – 3:00pm
(401) 465-7589 kaverockalpaca.com
Rosie Bud Farm
Happy Cat Creations
Zelda’s Craft Menagerie
Lynn’s Quilted Creations
Earle S. Dias Photography
Hello Gorgeous With Jess
Jennifer Karl Ceramics
Mookie’s Pet Treats
Sacred Cow Granola
MASKS MUST BE WORN AT ALL TIMES
Holiday Music by THE UNLIKELY STRUMMERS
12:30 – 1:30
Massachusetts has been spared major snowfall this winter. I do realize we have a few weeks left before spring … but snowfall now usually melts quickly. In past years we have had to shovel paths for alpacas to move about so that chore was not necessary (so far) nor was it missed.
Winter months are not pleasant for any farmer. Waste disposal comes to a ‘frozen’ standstill. Any icy precipitation thaws and turns to pure mud. Yes, mud. Not just a mud puddle … mud as far as you can see. And frozen waste mixes with mud to form sludge. It is not pretty.
Our farm is open to the public on Sunday afternoons and I cringe as I see visitors exit their vehicle wearing regular shoes. I tend to apologize for mother nature’s mess but it is a FARM! I’ll admit, I also apologize to visitors for alpacas sneezing on them, knocking cameras out of their hands, alpacas peeing close to the fence, alpaca females practicing dominance (they oggle like males too!) and I apologize for bird poop. It’s a FARM!!
So, although a bitter, snowy winter has eluded us, it’s mud season from now until May. Feel free to visit us but wear boots and it’s a farm … I’m sorry. : )
Visitors often ask if the alpacas stay in the barn during snowstorms. The answer is ‘no’. The majority of them stay outside and seem to enjoy the snow. An alpaca with three inches of snow on his back will have warm, dry, fluffy wool underneath. Should there be a significant storm, they are wise enough to seek shelter.
As alpaca owners, a heavy winter snow means shoveling paths for the animals and lugging water buckets as water lines freeze. Feeding time doubles with added chores.
So, since alpacas stay warm and dry during snowstorms, doesn’t it make sense to wear alpaca socks, hats and gloves when working or playing outdoors this winter?
We support American farmers. Whether they have large or small farms, they have drive and put forth great effort with blood, sweat and tears.
We are fortunate to work with the New England Alpaca Fiber Pool (NEAFP) in Fall River. Approximately 4,500 farms across the US contribute to this ‘pool’ and utilize the NEAFP services so there are many farms selling amazing Made In The USA products.
Recently, several customers have stated that they purchased a certain hat or sock from an alpaca farm and the product wasn’t the quality expected. Other customers state they found a similar,less expensive product at another farm. More often than not, these products are Peruvian made. I must interject that there are Peruvian products that are substantial quality, however, we support Made In The USA!!!
In the mid ’80’s when the import of Peruvian alpacas was halted, American farmers worked tirelessly to create American herds with amazing wool. Today the American alpaca industry is booming. We are booming with PRIDE!! The products created through NEAFP (based in Fall River, MA) are made with USA alpaca fiber using USA fiber mills keeping jobs and the fiber industry alive in the USA!
So the next time you are purchasing warm, wooly alpaca fiber products, feel free to ask…”Was this proudly made in the USA?” At Kave Rock Farm, the answer is always YES!!!!
We are a society that hates to wait. So … waiting for alpacas to be born is like watching grass grow. The gestation of an alpaca is 11 1/2 months. 350 days to be exact!! Some alpacas can go 365-370 days. Tick…tock… Waiting!!
Here’s some fun facts:
A baby alpaca is called a CRIA. (Cree-ya)
Most ruminants (animals with multiple stomachs) deliver their babies in the early morning.
The average cria weighs 15-16 pounds at birth but a healthy birth weight can range from 12-22 lbs.
Alpacas birth one cria (although there are a few reports of twins)
The cria is typically up walking and nursing in an hour or two.
Crias have difficulty regulating body temperature when first born so they are monitored in warm weather (we keep them out of the hot sun) and they wear coats in cold weather.
So the next time you’re waiting in line at the grocery store or bank, just be glad you’re not waiting for a cria to be born!