Sugar Hollow Farm Alpacas, LLC is now a member of PA Preferred. Of course the fiber for our yarn is grown in PA, but did you know that our yarn is also spun at a mill in PA? By purchasing our yarn you support 2 PA businesses (and probably many more!).
Although it's currently pushing 90 degrees outside it's not too early to start thinking about cooler weather and our alpaca events this fall.
National Alpaca Farm Days - We will hold our annual open house (along with alpaca farms all across the nation) on Saturday, Sept. 29 from 10 AM to 4 PM and on Sunday, Sept. 30 from 1 pm to 4 PM. Come on out and meet the alpacas, see a spinning demonstration (and maybe try it yourself!), and of course, get a jump on your Holiday shopping at our freshly stocked farm store.
Waynesboro Market Days Saturday, Oct. 6 from 9:00AM to 4:00PM - This will be our third year participating in this annual Waynesboro event. Come visit our booth on W. Main Street near the crosswalk. We'll have a few of our furry friends with us for you to pet (if they'll let you) and feed. We'll also have a wide variety of softest and warmest hats, mittens, gloves, scarves, sweaters, socks and other items so you can get prepared for the coming cold weather!
Blessing of the Animals Sunday afternoon, Oct. 7 time TBD - Join us and many creatures great and small at Red Run Park for this annual celebration of St. Francis of Assisi. This event is sponsored by several area churches. Bring your own critter to be blessed!
Silverbrook Fall Festival Saturday, Oct. 13 from 10:00AM to 2:00 PM - we'll have our alpacas at Silverbrook United Methodist Church at 8616 Silverbrook Road in Lorton, VA. If you're in the area come for the fun and especially to pick up some of John Wilson's famous BBQ chicken! While you're there you can visit with the alpacas and stock up on the warm and soft alpaca apparel you're going to need as the weather begins to turn colder! Click here for more details.
Pop-up Shops - Dates haven't formally been set yet, but going by past years the dates should be Nov. 16-18, 23-25, and Nov. 30 - Dec 2. Come downtown, catch the Christmas parade, and get busy with your Holiday shopping! By this time you'll definitely be wanting some of that soft and warm alpaca gear to get you through the blustery season! Check in here for more details.
Jumpin' Jack's Maybellene arrived on Saturday, June 9 while we were away at Waynesboro's Market in the Park. We came home to find that her dam, Lady Gaga had birthed her all by herself. Maybellene (named after the Chuck Berry song) was up walking and nursing by the time we got home! This was Jack's first offspring and we are very pleased with the results. She is very fine and believe she will have her sire's consistency as we see more of her fleece grow in.
Shop for our alpaca yarn at the Waynesboro Farmer's Market held each Saturday morning from 8:00 to 11:30 between now and October 6. Due to conflicts will won't be there every Saturday but here's a list of when we WILL be there:
June 9 and 16
July 7, 14 and 21
August 18 and 25
September 1 and 22
We hope to see you there!
The first of our two expected Spring cria arrived on May 23! King Leonidus' Tiny Dancer came in at 14 lbs, 2 ozs and was on her feet in 30 minutes and nursing shortly thereafter. Her mom - Inspiration's Keep the Faith - is a fabulous mom like her mother and grandmother before her (both still on our farm). Dancer is light fawn and was already running around the pasture just the day after she was born.
It's been a busy Spring! In late April we attended the Mid-Atlantic Alpaca Breeder's (MAPACA) Jubilee in Harrisburg, PA and walked away with two 2nd place ribbons. The day after the show we had our herd sheared by Jay Mariacher and his crew harvesting over 90 lbs of fleece. We've already received our herd's fiber analysis from this Spring's shearing and 16 of our 18 alpacas had average fiber diameters (AFD) between 18 and 26 microns. AFD is a measure of fineness which basically translates into how soft yarn made with this fiber feels. 18 to 26 microns is ideal because it feels very soft yet is still "thick" enough to be spun easily by the mill. Meanwhile, yarn from our 2017 shearing is now labeled and ready for sale at our farm store, and at the Waynesboro "Market at the Park" on Saturday mornings beginning Memorial Day weekend.
Last, but certainly not least, we are on cria watch! We're expecting two alpaca babies in the VERY near future. Why not plan a visit to the farm later this Spring to check them out? While you're here you can watch our three 6 month old boys romp and play in the pasture! They are quite a sight. Just give us a call to set up a visit - no charge!
Thank you to all of you who braved the rain and came to see us and our alpacas at the Grove Family Library on May 19! We enjoyed sharing Rhiannon and her son Billy the Kid with you (although we're sorry they weren't more engaging). We hope you'll plan to stop by the farm and see the rest of herd, including the 2 llamas, 2 kune kune pigs, 5 chickens, 3 barn cats, and Molly our farm dog and official greeter. Just give us a call to let us know you're coming - and make sure your camera has fresh batteries!
All three of our expected fall alpaca babies (crias) have arrived and there is absolutely nothing cuter - although puppies and kittens come close. Two were born on Oct. 28 (it was a busy day!) and the third on Nov. 10. If you're wanting to visit the farm this fall, now through the Holidays is a great time! To schedule a farm visit give us a call, and before you come out make sure your camera has fresh batteries!!
Thank you to all who came out to visit us during Mainstreet Waynesboro's Holiday "Pop-up" Shops in downtown Waynesboro. We enjoyed talking about, and showing off our alpacas. If your Christmas or Hanukah shopping is not quite complete there is still time to stop by our store on the farm to pick up those soft and warm alpaca apparel items! We've done some re-stocking since the Pop ups and have more socks and fingerless gloves available as well as hats, scarves, mittens and teddy bears. Come on out and put a dent in that Holiday shopping list! Give us a call and if we're home, we're open!
On Monday, June 5, CBS This Morning aired a piece that was inaccurate. Senator Jeff Flake's comments about alpacas with regard to tax reform were also inaccurate. We do not receive any tax breaks for raising alpacas, but we should be entitled to the same tax benefits and liabilities as other livestock owners. Here is our story, and we hope that you will contact us to discuss it further.
We both knew when we retired, we would live on a farm. Jay imagined having a cow or maybe some chickens. I dreamed of a Christmas tree farm! We stumbled upon alpacas when we visited a yarn vendor at a local craft fair in Virginia. She was selling alpaca yarn and had a picture of their very first cria (baby alpaca). We struck up a nice conversation and as we walked away, Jay said “THAT’S what we should do when we retire!” Before we left, we returned to her booth and asked more questions.
We took some time to learn all we could about the alpaca industry and in 2008, we purchased our first one! Because we did not own our own farm yet we chose to agist (board). Two years ago, I retired from the school system, and Jay retired from the US Army and we moved to our very own farm in PA last summer. Our herd moved about a month later. We currently have 15 alpacas, 2 llamas, 2 pigs and 5 chickens. Jay looked into the tax implications for us and ultimately was most comfortable listing us as a hobby farm.
Many alpaca owners do not depend on alpacas for a living. We depend on outside income such as pensions or other jobs.
Alpaca business owners receive NO “special alpaca tax benefit.” They have the same deductions as any other livestock or small business owner in America. We consider ourselves entrepreneurs. We send some fleece to coops to be included in larger runs, with the understanding that we are contributing to the goal of building a national alpaca fleece industry. Because our farm is so small, we don't have a lot to contribute, but we send what we can. We sell yarn and alpaca fleece to crafters. We sell alpaca garments to those who love them -- and that increases demand for an ultimate fleece industry. People are beginning to look for it.
If sheep and cows hadn't come to this country with European colonists, there would not be the current demand for wool and milk. If sheep and cows had come to this country in the last 30 years, the wool and dairy industries would be doing exactly what we're doing -- introducing people to wool and dairy products, and trying to build demand.
We are disappointed the CBS This Morning segment was not more reflective of a strong industry of farmers and entrepreneurs who are in this livestock industry as a true business.