Having grown up on a small farm outside of Seattle, animals have always been an important part of my life. In 2008 I visited Peru as an Earthwatch volunteer to help do research on wild macaws in the Amazon rainforest and while I was in Peru I discovered alpacas and all the wonderful things that can be made from their luxuriously soft fleece. I had been searching for a meaningful way to work more with animals and then, like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, it dawned on me that “there’s no place like home” and having a farm of my own would likely be the most satisfying and most profitable way. And so the girl who once danced with goats has become a woman who raises alpacas.
My farm name, Alpacadero, combines the word Alpaca with the Spanish suffix –dero which means “one or something that does, uses, or makes.” Although I do not yet have my own farm, by agisting my alpacas I am able to learn from my mentors and start down the path to eventually achieving the goal of having my own farm.
My focus is to improve the fleece qualities of each generation of alpacas by using modern breeding methods, develop unique alpaca products, build up a profitable business, and help other new people get their start.
Being new to world of alpacas is a wonderful adventure with much to learn, but one thing I have learned: according to the ancient Quechua legend, the goddess Pachamama (Mother Earth) loaned alpacas and llamas so people of the harsh Puna region could survive. Since the animals belong to Pachamama, they must be well-fed and never treated cruelly. If they are not properly cared for, Pachamama will call them back and people will disappear. Even in our more hospitable world, products made from alpaca fleece are an ecologically sustainable way to add luxury and beauty to our lives.