It's been a little over a month since my nephew gave me the alpaca fleece. Today's adventure was to visit Schoolhouse Farm in North Granby, to meet Aja, who was so generous as to give up the fleece she spent a whole year growing.
It was Open Farm Day in Granby, and when I arrived soon after the event began, there were already about 20 cars and lots of people around. Schoolhouse Farm opened a few years ago and now has 16 alpacas, some chickens, and a few pigs. A friend who lives near the farm tells me that the property has been transformed from several acres of neglected land with an old ramshackle house to a beautiful farm with new buildings and a huge garden. I'm sure many folks who drive by the farm every day have been eager to visit for awhile.
Aja is an adult female, pictured here with the farm's first baby. I soon discovered how Aja's fleece acquired its layer of dirt.
Mary-Jo and Greg, the farm's owners, have one alpaca they call Britney who is especially friendly and serves as their ambassador.
My nephew Josh, here being led around by Britney, answered many questions about alpaca behavior. I was impressed not only by how much he knew about them, but also by how much he seemed to like them.
Greg was happy to see some yarn made from Aja's fleece. He holds the first (only, as of now) usable skein. Many more to follow!