• Almost a year......

    Since my last entry. What can I say. Life is too short and too busy and too exciting!

    But that's not really an excuse. So, our plans for this year 2016.....

    I'm sure you'll have seen my new books : "And... are alpacas REALLY scary?!" and "So... what IS an alpaca?". These books were the result of a dream I had to publish a children's story book and our orphaned alpacas, Dolly and Dot, gave me the perfect story to write. The illustrations were provided by my brother in law Kristian Hewitt, and painted from photographs we staged here on the farm. Feedback has been really good and we have been out visiting schools and reading to their children - lots of fun! I have also put together gift bags and story sacks to accompany the book and these have been well received. These were my winter project and certainly kept me busy!

    Back on the farm, we had a few visits over the winter, which we don't usually do. The extremely wet weather made it a challenge at times! I ran some needlefelting classes before Christmas which were fabulous fun making Father Christmas, Snowmen and Robin characters, but my favourite were the needlefelted alpacas dressed up as reindeer! We also ran some Christmas Alpaca walks, with mulled wine and minced pies to warm everyone up after their wintry walk. After Christmas, we held a Valentine's walk with themed cakes which was fully booked weeks before, and then our Mother's Day Afternoon Tea event, again fully booked a couple of weeks before. This year we just had two sittings and catered for 46 which was much better than last year's 3 sessions for 78! Rather too much I felt.

    We are running an Alpaca Husbandry training course for a charity who have alpacas this week which will be fun and we'll get all our alpaca's nails trimmed and vitamin paste for the girls!

    Then we have our Spring and Easter Walks and our Easter Open Day on Good Friday with lots of fun things planned. This is the first of only 2 open days we run a year, with the second being for Open Farm Sunday on the first Sunday in June.

    We have introduced Kids 'n' Cakes sessions for half term weeks. These are where you can bring your children and if they are 5+ they can decorate a cupcake as an alpaca, pig or chick, before you have a private tour of the farm to meet and feed our animals. I think this is going to be popular!

    We are still taking bookings for birthday parties and Private Alpaca Experiences, but are trying to keep them to Sunday's as last year we were fully booked all weekend and were exhausted, and missed out on our own family time with our children. Let's see if we manage to turn business away....!

    We are also taking bookings for corporate visits and specialist groups during the week, term time.

    Oh and our resident Berkshire Sow, Peppa, gave birth on the 1st March to a lovely litter of piglets, 4 girls and 3 boys. They are adorable and she is an excellent mum. They are getting fatter everytime I see them!

    We are having a trade stand at the Heart of England Aplaca Fiesta which is being held at Bury Farm Equestrian Centre in Slapton on 16th and 17th April and is open to the public. We are also going to be taking a table at some of the local school May and Summer Fayres which will be fun. The alpacas might even be accompanying us to a few....

    So that's all the news I can share at the moment. We have some other exciting plans in the pipeline that I can't share yet........ and I will try and remember to write another blog entry before the year is out!!

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