Introduction to Spinning

Introduction to Spinning

Introductory classes to spinning with Anna Marie D’Addarie are being offered at the store at the Island Alpaca Farm, Oak Bluffs.

All ages are welcomed. Materials and practice wheels are provided.

The class price is $125. Each class consists of two sessions for a total of eight hours. Wheel rentals are available for use after class for two weeks for an additional $50. A $25 credit can be applied towards any wheel purchase at the end of rental period.

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Island Alpaca Farm Shares Shearing Day With Public

Island Alpaca Farm welcomed more than 100 members of the public last Friday to see the shearing of the newest additions to their herd: nine baby alpacas, or cria, as they are known to alpaca farmers.

Fun and informative, the shearers, who visited from Unity, N.H., explained the process to onlookers: “You start from the top of the back and work towards the belly,” said Jozi Best, who has been shearing alpacas for over a decade, or more than 2,000 alpacas each year. “Shearing the alpaca stimulates the growth for a strong winter fleece.”

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Island Alpaca Company Introduces New Program

The Island Alpaca Company is introducing a new Sunday morning program called Island Alpaca Junior Discovery, wherein children ages 8 to 18 can learn all about this most noble creature. Participants will find out all where the alpaca come from and why they are important to humans. Educational opportunities include hands-on activities, such as barn chores, alpaca feeding and care, halter training, and possibly, a chance to witness the birth of a new herd member.

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Prize-Winning Blankets: Island Alpaca Wins Gold

The Island Alpaca Company participated in the 2009 Symposium and Fleece Event in Syracuse, New York in early February, with the submission of two of alpaca fleece blankets. Made from the super-soft prime fleece that is shorn from the backs of two different alpacas, Estrada and Angelina; these blankets were each awarded blue ribbons. In competition, fleece is judged for fineness and handle, brightness, crimp and density, lack of modulation and, finally, cleanliness. This is the third blue ribbon Estrada has taken home for his fleece alone.

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Alpacas in January

Alpacas in January

The Massachusetts Agriculture in the Classroom organization announced this week that a photograph taken at the Island Alpaca Farm will appear in its 2012 calendar. The photograph by farm owner Barbara Ronchetti shows alpacas in the snow. The picture will grace the January calendar page. To order a calendar visit aginclassroom.org.

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Herd Here: All You Ever Need to Know About Alpaca

Island Alpaca’s well-decorated herd sire, Estrada, won a first place position in his age and color category for his fleece from the Empire Alpaca Association Fleece Event and Fiber Symposium in Syracuse, N.Y. recently. He also was awarded the highly coveted championship (all age groups) in a class of 36 alpaca. All but three alpaca were younger competitors to Estrada, an overwhelming number to challenge for most older alpacas.

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Oak Bluffs Can Be Lonely When You’re the Only Llama
Ivy Ashe

There are seventy-two alpacas grazing the daisy-dotted acreage of Island Alpaca Company in Oak Bluffs. But chances are, the first animal visitors seen upon walking into the enormous barn on the property won’t be one of them.

Newcomers often furrow their brows, puzzled, and ask the staff if the tall shaggy creature with the skinny legs, big ears and knowing, curious face is a male alpaca.

“This is Sudrina,” the staff answers. “She’s our llama.” The only llama.

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Alpaca Award

Alpaca Award

She started in the corporate world and gave it all up for alpaca. Now Barbara Ronchetti will be honored for Building a Better Mousetrap.

The award, presented by small business counseling group Cape Cod SCORE, is given to 15 small business that have survived five years of operation and appear headed for long-term success. Ms. Ronchetti, who began the Island Alpaca Company in 2004, was selected by the Martha’s Vineyard Chamber of Commerce.

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