So - it seems we are both pretty rubbish at updating our progress, but we've had a few people reach out so I wanted to just let everyone know where we are at and what the plans are!
First of all, building a farm from the ground up took a lot more time and effort that we first imagined. I didn't realize how much work and preparation was necessary. Whew - it's been a learning curve!
The last blog post is from April 2019 (17 months ago) when we were first breaking ground. We are in the final stages of building now and arranging for the delivery of our animals.
We've had some big delays with getting materials due to COVID but it looks like our fencing will be complete this week so we will have secure paddocks for our animals.
We expect the alpacas to arrive over the next few months (we are just waiting for the babies to get a bit bigger and for the mothers to be mated again so they come to us pregnant). In fact, the photos below are from our most recent visit to Furze Park Alpacas were some of our beauties live now - as we are arranging to get them delivered.
Many people have been asking about us opening to the public. The ultimate goal will be to open up for visits (we are thinking reservations will be required so we don't stress the animals out). But we will need time to settle in and get up to speed with all things alpacas ourselves before we can do that - so it will likely be summer 2021 before we start making plans for that.
We do have a small farm shop on-site from which we will be selling eggs (we have a number of rare breed chickens that will not only be laying lovely free range eggs, but will also be keeping our paddocks clean and tidy from bugs and parasites! We also plan to have tea and coffee available for the multitude of cyclists that go past. Our chickens are just getting to laying age so we expect to have a few eggs soon but since winter is coming and the chickens will mostly stop laying then it's not likely that the farm shop will be fully operational until Spring 2021. We will post on here as soon as it is open!
If you do want to take a peek, there is a small public footpath that runs along the boarder of our site. Please be aware, we are still a construction zone so no parking is allowed on site and, for your own safety, you cannot stray from the footpath. So you'd need to walk here from the other ends of the footpath (Stanford in the Vale would be a good place to start).
What else have we been up to?! We planted around 5,000 trees in conjunction with the Woodland Trust. Unfortunately, it never rained again after the trees were planted so we will likely have to replant next year - but as it grows it will make a lovely habitat for wildlife in the area, including some planned in glades for butterflies!
One of our goals is to be as sustainable and eco-friendly as possible. We are completely off-grid for all of our energy usage and also have a 20,000 litre rainwater storage tank for all of the animal usage and to flush our toilets! Living this way has been a learning experience in itself as we moderate our energy usage to the daylight hours to maximize the solar yield.
Along with the alpacas and rare breed chickens (goal is to get to 100-150 chickens) we also have angora rabbits, whose super soft and high quality wool will mix nicely with the alpaca wool. We currently have 6 angora's with the plan to breed to grow to at least 10. We have some Rhea arriving today, which will be laying lovely (and huge) golden eggs that taste amazing (one egg = 15 chicken eggs) and they are also great for craft making so keep an eye out for those at our farm shop. We've got a number of cuddly cats and kittens around to help control the pest population and we've got a gorgeous German Shepherd to help keep everyone safe and ensure we don't have any more burglaries (we did have a break-in and theft in our early days on-site).
We can't wait to be able to show you around once we are up and running and I'll post more pictures when the rest of the animals arrive on-site!
Do message us if you have any questions at all! You can use the Contact Us form on the next page.