Summer is winding downby Jane Levene on 09/23/13
So, we've had a very eventful summer here in Colorado! From worries about a drought year and lack of hay and pasture, to terrible floods in the northern part of the state, and more rain in a month than what we normally get in a full year! Our farms have been spared, but we have taken in about 70 alpacas from a farm that had barns and fencing washed away as well as flood damage to their homes. When you get that call, that a friend has lost nearly everything, and is worried to death about their animals, I think every person would jump to help out. Luckily, our animals are very social, and the farm has a great layout to accommodate visiting groups. Unfortunately in Colorado, we can plan on such visits often whether from fires or now floods! On top of the weather events, we've been having lots of crias, and lost our first dam in a long time. So I have the cutest little bottle-baby. The worst part is how much I fall in love with these little babies, knowing that the early weeks will be a struggle. So I go to the barn about every 3 hours, give or take an hour or two. But I'm always greeted with a little hum and she scampers over to get her bottle. I've posted a great photo of family friends who came over to see the babies and helped with a feeding. So look at my facebook page- just under Jane Levene! We've had another major change at the Salida Farm. Del and Diana Smith have resigned, looking for a more "real" retirement and hopefully a lot less work. I appreciate all of their work over the past 3 years, and wish them the best of luck, and a whole lot more leisure in the coming years! We've been incredibly lucky to take on Tom Iamonico, one of our alpaca shearers as the new farm manager. He has a wonderfully calm and easy manner with the animals, and best of all is a native of Salida! So many thanks Tom, for joining our team! Brittany Singleterry continues on with the farm, and has been promoted to Livestock Manager. She knows each and every animal on the farm, and loves working with the new crias. I expect great things, and even more progress as we continue to make the farm more in tune with our conservation and environmental goals. And the fiber herd continues to grow! Our fiber statistics are simply awesome. And when I get the results back from this years clip I will post it for all to see. The Paco-Vicuna Association is also extremely proud (and progressive!) to announce the start of the EPD program managed by Mark Enns of Colorado State University. As I've said before, we plan on becoming the most thoroughly documented and tested fiber herd in the USA. My friends have started wondering when I sleep, and frankly, there are times that I don't quite get that opportunity, ha! The list of things I need to do, should do, and want to do is always much longer than the list of things I actually get done. As I've said before, its' different for a woman-farmer than a man-farmer! Woman-farmer still gets to do the laundry, get meals, take care of family issues, entertain friends and guests, etc. but my real problem is I'm compelled to waste a little time every day. Sometimes I just sit down next to the little bottle baby, let her lean against my leg and enjoy a little contact, even if it is 3 a.m. in the barn and I get a little stiff sitting on the ground, but wouldn't give up a minute of that time with her. And sometimes, its just grabbing a spinning or knitting magazine and a cup of tea to recharge and relax. Much of the work will still be there no matter how I try to prioritize, but those special moments of just sitting and watching the babies get fascinated by the shoes on my feet, or noticing what I imagine are the approving looks from the other "mothers" as I give this little cria some comfort. Those are the moments I live for and enjoy the most. So thank you, God, for giving me the resources of time, temperament, place and family, that allow me to help those around me, and at the same time, give me so much joy and peace. And I also hope that there are many more people around me that are able to offer you this same prayer.