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Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2013 in Review

January we signed a 5 year lease at 5 Windy’s Farm Road to start building our farm.

February was spent cleaning up the property, sighting a spot for the barn and paddocks, leveling the land and sighting where the garden would go.

The cleaning continued in March. We began planting the garden, renovating the old chicken coop, and broke ground on our new barn. Mom went to TxOlan-March 1-3, Mom and I went to a Fleece Seminar in Show Low, AZ March 16-17.

In April we received 13 baby chicks, David spoke at the Socorro Fiber Guild meeting, we sheared on April 14, continued building the barn and planting more in the garden. Our first cria of the season, Shady Lady, was born on the 28th.

May David bought a 21’ travel trailer so he could spend more time at the farm. Our second cria, Dimo, was born on the 13th. Chris from Classic Alpaca came to our house and we loaded up on retail product.

We began working on fencing in the paddock around the barn in June. Keeping the weeds out of our garden became a full-time job and David began selling our produce and fiber at the Socorro Farmers’ Market. June was also filled with emotions as Nieve had a stillborn on the 23 and two days later Misty Rose was born. We sold our first alpaca, Tootsie Roll.

On July 4th we discovered that one of our junior males, Gringo, was bit by rattlesnake. This was another huge learning curve for us. He pulled through fine and is doing well. Carmelita was born on the 12th.

August 3rd we attended the New Mexico Alpaca Breeders Meeting in Santa Fe. Toward the end of the month Kathy went to “Education with a Destination” in Oregon and visited several farms.

In September we had three cria born: Billy the Kid on the 5th, Zella on the 16th, and Clea on the 19th. Unfortunately, Zella passed away on the 19th. We participated in National Alpaca Farm Days the last weekend of the month too.

October brought some much appreciated cooler weather. As the garden began to fade we once again stocked up on retail product for the holidays.

November was quiet on the farm. Retail sales were good during Festival of the Cranes with visitors from around the world. Zuza, the fourth alpaca we had purchased, suddenly passed away on the 19th due to a tumor on her pancreases – another sad moment in our journey.

December retail sales demonstrated that our name is getting out there. We incubated some of our chicken eggs for a Christmas hatch. Now we have 14 new chicks added to the flock. Mom and I went to the Hi-Plains Alpaca Show in Amarillo, TX. The last week of December we fenced the south pastures with no-climb horse panels. Christmas Eve was a huge day for us, we received a letter from ARI stating Raindance’s White Cloud was in the Top 5 EPD Trait Leaders! Quite a year.