Probably one of the last things you would expect to find two miles from the beach is an Alpaca farm, but there they are in all their fuzzy glory.
About a year ago I saw a few them grazing on what had become a somewhat neglected gentleman's farm estate. Like so many places it was divided up into smaller parcels however; instead of building hundreds of homes on every square inch thirteen acres were purchased by couple that believes in preservation.
The property includes a nice size cape style home, an almost 4,500 square foot carriage house built in the 1930's that the owners preserved and restored as much as possible and a small newer two stall single story barn. The old grand house not part of the thirteen acres was sadly bulldozed.
When I originally saw fencing going up I was sad. I thought it meant fenced for home construction and was so happy to see it was for animals instead. That was a little over a year ago. Then a couple of months ago a sign was posted Alpaca farm open today. We finally stopped in a got a chance to meet the growing herd and got a bit of an education on both their habits and their the lovely fashions made from their shearing.
Alpaca fiber is unusually strong and does not retain water. It can be spun to be light and airy for summer fashions to heavy and warm for winter without the bulk.When I had the opportunity to pet one of them I was surprised how soft it was.
On the side of the carriage house is a tiny little shop featuring shawls, sweaters, scarves, hats, gloves and short coats that were beautifully detailed.
Demand for Alpaca fiber seems to be on the rise which may be in part due to it's hypoallergenic properties and less shrinkage with washing.
They were fun to watch and I hope to back again.