Shearing is caring.

In the true  spirit of Xmas we have now given the best summer present of all to the ‘pacas at Alpcacino – a haircut!.  20181126_131858

In total we shaved, clipped and jabbed around 37 Alpacas including  visitors from the neighborhood amassing over 70kg of fleece

Next task on the list  is to turn the raw fleece into a finely carded fiber ready for home spinning.  Don’t be shy to order yours as  there is plenty for sale direct  from us or through the all things Alpaca –  Rural Trade website.  Think how fine that Alpaca jumper beanie or sox will be  once you have finished!

 

 

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Has it really been over a year?!?!

I cant believe its been over 12 months since last posting.  Maybe its because the magpies  have not been around this year to remind me, maybe its because I am too preoccupied with life underground in the gold mine or maybe its that life goes past just to damn fast!.  Whatever the case,  the situation needed rectifying. So with no further promises.. here is the start!

now, what is in the year that passed?.

Shearing 2017 has come and gone ( amidst a local thunderstorm – waaaay to wet to be hiding under a tarp!) and 2018 is about to begin November 24th.

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The hens have now all gone – the last two of them a few days ago possibly at the hands of a serial killer.  Number one suspect is an Eagle.

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What?! …No! I mean this “an Eagle..”

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The water in  our only dam is all but gone and its only just spring.   Only the tiger snakes and bull rushes remaining in the receding water all thanks to (allegedly) global warming

A few more alpacas have now gone  –  to new homes to guard new lambs against marauding foxes.

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And finally we said goodbye to our little mate Spike  on the right  who had a long and fulfilled life barking at bees and charging at the alpacas right up until the end!

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Willow (left) and Wesley ( center) now taking up his mantle of guard dog!.

So that’s all caught up  now on what has gone on .

Hopefully from now on the updates will be more regular than once a year . In the meantime check out Rural Trade web site and Facebook page for all things buy and sell in Alpaca fiber and farm gate produce.

 

 

Aw crap… they’re back!

Its almost to the very day that we last reported we were under attack from black and white aerial insurgents. Today their first act of hostilities across our territorial lines has taken place again.

Diplomatic negotiations seem to be breaking down and I suspect they now have good intel from maybe someone on the “‘inside” as they wait for me to go into the shed, take up a strategic position in the neighbouring tree and spiral down straight at me with the determination of a world war 2 fighter pilot as soon as i come out again – gives me the big frighten!

I was hoping that providing free provisions in the way of captured rodents and chook food may have placated their commander in chief, but no! So just like Donald, I am bringing to bear full trade sanctions with no more free anything to cross the border!. They have also been verbally warned that if they continue with the act of aggression I can bring a world of fire and fury against them but so far it seems they are taking no notice of my ranting and raving!….. they would do well to remember as they sit high up in the trees that, if pushed, I could bring their present and future civilisations to an end as I Stihl hold one ace card!!

For now though I will give them 3 weeks grace to cease and desist and even though it looks weird I will continue to mow grass, mend fences and tend to farm duties with the broom pole down the back of my jumper and the broom head waving in erratic circles above me.

Spinning a good yarn…

As Henry Lawson once alluded to,  if  anyone is going to talk with great confidence on a subject they have little knowledge of, its probably a Geologist!

And in my case its no different, though this time this geological spieler is not pontificating about rocks and railways. Instead I have been waxing lyrical on the wonders of Alpaca wool!!!

ruraltradeYes! I have entered the world of textiles, fabrics and all things fiber arts. In cahoots with a couple of great local people who do actually know what they are doing we have opened up Rural Trade. –  a web hub for buying and selling specialty fiber products, garments  or yarns.

To anyone out there that knits, weaves, spins or is simply looking for Alpaca fiber this is the place to come and browse the growing products list at Rural Trade.

If  you do have something to sell or have the skills to get  knitting, spinning  or felting products  up for sale but  never quite  got anything finished yet, then the gang  would love to hear from you (we may even be able to provide cheap yarn or fiber bats to get you back the enthusiasm you need!). email us at Rural Trade (sales@ruraltrade.com.au or david@durhamcreekmills.com,au).

No only is Rural Trade open for business, but the Durham Creek Mill is following close behind. I know its mildly surprising that even with so little background in the ways of the woolen mill I seem to have successfully managed to get the carding machine actually carding! Before too long we will have our own bats and slivers available for sale. From there its merely a small leap to setting up for commercially spinning yarns ( 2018 here we come!).

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing – but what fun!

 

Gambling on being a card player.

Inspired to a recent trip to Las Vegas I have decided that cards could be in my future…or rather carding.  The new fiber carding machine has turned up and after some minor modifications and adjustments appears to be working with great results!.

Alpacacino can now produce picked, washed and carded fleeces ready to spin and hopefully will soon be selling to  fiber artists, spinners, weavers and knitters everywhere.

Mind you my ability to manage social media is something akin to President Trump’s.  Fear not –  I have partnered up with  Gina and Alex from Ross Creek and together with Alpaca shearer John Butterworh will be launching  Durham Creek Mills as a commercial on line venture shortly.   Already the  shop is in its final form ready for release  into the virtual abyss  of the Wide wide World of the Web  and if all goes according to the plan   bats of super fine alpaca fleece , blended alpaca/merino  fleece and other specialty fibers  will be for sale within a couple of months from now.

Watch out for the big media release soon!!

Where there’s a wool there’s a way!…

Well winter is around the corner and as the spotlight falls on the necessity of scarves and gloves,  we at the farm are pleased to say we have donated a fine black Alpaca fleece to the crafty women at the  Buninyong Probus Club to help them take on the international competition in the Creative Scarf Festival at the National Wool Museum’s annual celebration of all things scarf.  Hopefully the group  does well.  Pictures of their efforts using the Alpaca wool will hopefully appear shortly on our website.. ’till then maybe check out the festival in person?.

The Scarf Festival 2017 theme is Galaxies: a textile journey to infinity and beyond.

Let the cosmos be your guide.
Find your inspiration amongst gas, dust and stars.
Calculate your trajectory to the National Wool Museum.

More information on the Geelong Scarf Festival can be found at:http://artsatlasgeelong.com.au/scarf-festival-2017-galaxies-entries-open/