All posts by littlelostcreek

2020 Shearing

Farm Happenings

• On April 30th we had a combined annual shearing and herd health. It was the first time we had done it without visitors present and it was a bit spooky, not to mention gloomy since it was raining. But with only three alpacas, it went very quickly. Next year we hope to be able to host some spectators since it is an experience to witness.

Nathan shears Dagger.
Nathan’s assistant cradles Dagger’s head to keep him still and calm him.
Here are the three boys with their new haircuts.

• Sadly, on March 28th we said goodbye to Channing, the last alpaca born on our farm; King Arthur, our youngest; and our grand dame 16-year old girl Halley Luya, who gave us our very first alpaca.

We are now left with just three guys, including Chevy, the first-born on the farm; Dagger, Channing’s father; and Nordic, the big white guy.

4-H

4-H Club

In our efforts to downsize our operation, we have dissolved our 4-H Alpacateers Club. It was a difficult decision to make as we both enjoyed working with our kids and families so much. But we are ready to move along. On December 8th we had a farewell party and displayed the quilt each member had contributed to. Each one dry-felted a butterfly and one of our grandparents put the quilt together. It is a very fitting ending to our club and one that will be remembered long into the future. We’d just like to say we will miss everyone and hope they will stop by occasionally to see the alpacas and say hello (and maybe do poop piles).

Each of our 4H Alpacateers contributed a butterfly to this quilt.

4-H

4-H Club

In our efforts to downsize our operation, we have dissolved our 4-H Alpacateers Club. It was a difficult decision to make as we both enjoyed working with our kids and families so much. But we are ready to move along. On December 8th we had a farewell party and displayed the quilt each member had contributed to. Each one dry-felted a butterfly and one of our grandparents put the quilt together. It is a very fitting ending to our club and one that will be remembered long into the future. We’d just like to say we will miss everyone and hope they will stop by occasionally to see the alpacas and say hello (and maybe do poop piles).

Each of our 4H Alpacateers contributed a butterfly to this quilt.

Storm, May 2019

Storm of the Year

On May 29th we were struck with 90-100 MPH straight line winds. The damage was extensive, as you can see in the photos below. We estimate close to 50 trees blew over, crushing  500 feet of fencing and two gates. Somehow, only two fence posts were broken.

Miraculously, neither the house nor the barn took a direct hit, but the rear overhang of the barn sustained minor damage. We were out of power from Wednesday to Saturday. Fortunately we have a backup generator.

It will be a year or more before we get everything cleaned up and even then it’s not likely we will get our trails cleared. There are so may trees down, we can’t even see them at this point.

4-H

4H

We completed our final community service commitment on Sept. 24th. For the past two years we have helped clean up the Schuylkill River Trail three times a year. We thank all the members who gave their time to support this worthwhile project.

Our September trail crew.

4H Fair

The Montgomery County Farm, Home  and Youth Fair was held on Aug-8-10. As usual our 4-Hers performed well.

Leah leads Arthur through the pool noodles.
JUNIOR AWARD WINNERS: From left: Paige (two participation ribbons in her very first show), Olivia (two third places), Vanessa with a pair of seconds and Leah who won both showmanship and agility.
SENIOR AWARD WINNERS: From left: Kylie with two participation ribbons, Naomi with a third in agility and second in showmanship, Annabelle with a third in showmanship and first in agility, Sarah with a second in agility and a blue ribbon in showmanship with a perfect score, and Aiden with two participation ribbons.
Naomi (left) was named Reserve Champion with the second highest combined score, and Sarah was the Grand Champion.

Spring 2019

Opening Day

The opening of the Lansdale Farmers Market on May 18 saw a huge crowd turn out on a beautiful May day. The alpacas were a huge hit. Channing actually allowed people to pat and hug her. Arthur was a bit less affectionate but still allowed some people to touch him.

Arthur and Channing were huge hits at the opening of the Lansdale Farmers market.

Another Shearing

On Thursday, May 2nd we had our annual shearing. We are fortunate to have a very accomplished shearer in Ethan Good, who won Grand Champion shearer at the 2019 Pa. Farmer Show. Ethan hails from York and comes east for about a week at a time to do all the local farms. He knocked off eight alpacas and two sheep in about an hour and a half. We were thankful for a few visitors as well as several of our 4-H kids, who helped in bagging and cleaning up the fiber .

Ethan shears Chevy.
Ethan trims Dagger’s teeth with his handy Dremel.
Amelia gets her annual trim. Note the gorgeous array of colors and the tight crimp of her fleece.
The final stash.

2019 Agility Inv.

2019 Agility Invitational

Our 9th Annual Agility Invitational was a bug success. We had more than 40 kids participate from four 4-H clubs, including ones from Maryland and New Jersey.

Our kids performed well. Sisters Annabelle (12-14) and Vanessa (8-11) both nabbed first places in their respective age groups. Leah (second), Weston (third) and Asher (fourth) also laced in the 8-11 age group.

Naomi (second) and Kylee (seventh) too spots in the 12-14 age group, and Aiden came in seventh in the 15-18 group.

Vanessa leading Dagger
Naomi taking Dagger through the change-of-pace.
Leah takes Arthur over a jump.
Kylee sets Nordic in the pool.
Annabelle prepares to place a towel on Dagger’s back.

Ag Lit/Trail Cleanup

Schuylkill River Trail Cleanup

On Sunday, April 7th, our 4-H club met for the first of three trail clean-ups as part of our Adopt-a-Trail program (notice our club logo on the sign in the background). We cut back encroaching vines, racked leaves and trimmed overhanging branches and did a bit of socializing in the process. It was a perfect day.

The Crew

Ag Literacy

Each year the Pa. Farm Bureau sponsors an Ag Literacy Week in local schools to educate kids about where their food comes from. On March 13th, two of our 4-H kids read a book and led an activity with first graders in our local school district. They enjoyed the experience and the kids learned as well.

Annabelle reads to first graders at Salford Hills Elementary School.
Naomi reads to another first grade class at Salford Hills.

2019 Farm Show

• On Jan. 8, our 4-H kids competed at the Pa. Farm Show. We are very proud of their performance, which was one of the best in the last few years. We garnered two 1st places, three second places, one third place, three fourth places and one sixth place in the Showmanship and Agility competitions.

Our lone senior, Sarah placed fourth in Showmanship and second in agility and was awarded Reserve Champion for her performances.

Sarah responds to questions the judge asked her in the Showmanship competition. Sarah sidesteps King Arthur

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the Intermediate Division, Kaylee finished fourth in Showmanship and second in Agility.

Kylee backing up Dagger

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had three contestants in the Junior Division. Naomi, the most experienced, placed second in Showmanship and first in Agility to earn Reserve Champion.

Naomi running Dagger

Our other two contestants were competing at the Farm Show for the first time. Leah placed third in Showmanship and second in Agility. Weston place fourth in Showmanship and sixth in agility.

Leah taking Arthur through the streamers
Weston receiving his award

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As a conclusion to the competition each county competed in a fun event, dressing up an alpaca. No awards were given but each county dressed an alpaca and then concocted a story about it.

Leah and Arthur all dressed up

2018 4-H Fair

Farm Home and Youth Fair

Our annual 4-H Fair, now called Farm, Home and Youth Fair, was held Aug. 9-11. The kids competed in Showmanship and Agility in Senior and Junior divisions.

In the Senior Showmanship, Naomi place first with 87 points, Jonathon came in second with 83 and Kylee placed third with 80. Annabelle came in first in Senior Agility with 94 points, Jonathon finished second with 92 and Maggie came in third with 87.

In the Junior Showmanship, Weston won with 85 points, Leah placed second with 80 and Vanessa was third with 74. In Agility Leah finished first with 92 points, Weston was second with 87 and Vanessa scored 79 points for third.

The judge watches Weston tie a quick-release knot.
Leah places a towel on King Arthur’s back.
Maggie coaxes Arthur to stand in the ring.
Vanessa leads Channing over the tarp.
Fair participants, back row from left: Maggie, Jonathon, Annabelle, Kylee, Naomi. Front row: Vanessa, Leah, Weston.