an Alpaca Ranch
a hands-on experience that will be both fascinating and fun, set
aside the second Sunday of some month for a visit to Alpacas de
Santa Fe, an honest-to-goodness breeding farm for the gentle,
intelligent, clean, friendly creature known as the alpaca.
member of the camelid family-which includes camels, llamas and
vicunas-the alpaca stands about 36 inches tall at the withers,
weighs about 150 pounds, and produces the finest natural fiber
for clothing in all the world. The Alpacas de Santa Fe ranch,
one of three major such operations in New Mexico, welcomes visitors
and is eager to spread the word about these animals, whose fleece
is superior to wool in almost every way.
Ranch Sundays, visitors get a tour of the operation and learn
a great deal about the alpaca. If desired, you can help with the
chores, and you most certainly may pet an alpaca. This is wholesome
outdoor fun for the whole family.
de Santa Fe is located just a few miles south of Santa Fe, at
29 Calvin Road, slightly east of State Highway 14. Call ahead
at 505-471-9164 to let co-owners Bonnie Samuel and Bill DeBois
know you are coming, and to get directions. Scheduled Open Ranch
dates for the rest of the year 2001 are July 15, Aug. 12, Sept.
9 and Oct. 14.
de Santa Fe has scheduled a Breeders' Fiber Clinic, featuring
noted international fiber judge Amanda VandenBosch, for the weekend
of August 25-26, at the ranch a few miles south of town. Participants
will learn to distinguish superior fiber characteristics, and
will gain proficiency in selecting alpacas for purchasing, breeding
and producing fiber. The program, which runs from 9 to 5 on Saturday
and 9 to 3 on Sunday, includes on-animal and off-animal fiber
demonstrations. The cost is $125 per person for both days, with
lunch and coffee breaks included. Seating is limited to only about
35 people, so advance reservations are recommended. To make them
or to get more information, call Bonnie Samuel at 505-471-9164,
or visit www.alpacasdesantafe.com.
information about alpacas and this ranch, read the article titled
Alpacas de Santa Fe in the
Stories section of SFAOL.com or visit www.alpacasdesantafe.com.