Our Story (and we’re sticking to it):
Al and I are entrepreneurs. We have each operated our individual businesses for more than 20 years. We are used to working hard. One goal has always been to use our property in a sustainable way. I love caring for animals, vegetables and plants. Naturally, we considered several options – tree farm and a vineyard wouldn’t work because we are limited in space; goats sounded like fun but when I started to think about having someone milk our goats if we went out of town I quickly changed my mind; I even entertained the idea of emus, but we finally settled on alpacas for many reasons. They are sweet, docile animals that penetrate your heart the second you look into their huge black eyes and they make a great family project. Besides that, they produce a luxurious, hypo-allergenic fleece every year.
I’m drawn to the arts. Although my talents are best used in heavier mediums like pottery and mosaics, the fiber arts have now gotten my attention. One day, I hope to learn to knit and crochet, but for now I’m happy felting. I do my best to crank out bats and rovings for handspinners and dye them in beautiful colors. These creatures intrigue breeders, artists, farmers and fiber lovers alike. They are loveable, trainable, and generally an easy livestock animal to care for. They are gentle on the land and fun to watch as they pronk on new spring grass every year.
Once we dove into the alpaca culture, we met incredible people willing to share their experiences and before you know it, we were purchasing our first herd. Nowadays, in between our regular work and family commitments, we scoop poop, give shots, get anxious when babies are coming, care for pastures, attend agricultural seminars, eagerly anticipate shearing day, sort fleece and read up on all things alpaca. It is a lifestyle choice and so far – we’re lovin’ it!
Part of the business is selling some of our herd. For us – it’s hard. We love our alpacas and hate to see any of our herd go. For you – it’s great because we breed for top quality genetics. You can be sure you are getting an animal that has been well cared for. We intentionally choose award winning herd sires to breed with our dams. We also respect the current market and do not breed any females just to breed. It’s a balance and we intend to keep our farm in check.
We offer many items in our farm store. You can shop here on line or make an appointment to come visit the farm shop. We offer amazing yarn in many 3 ply varieties – sock, DK, worsted, fingering, sport. We can also dye to your color preference. Alpaca yarn is more expensive than acrylic yarns, but that is because it is sooo soft and luxurious. Use it for items you will wear close to your skin. It is a hollow fiber so it is incredibly light weight and warm. It wicks away moisture. Whatever you create with alpaca yarn will last and be a treasured item.
In addition to yarn, we carry roving and bats from our animals. These are sought after by hand-spinners and weavers. We have felt made from some of the lesser quality fleece which makes amazing felted items like eyeglass cases, wine totes, and purses. We also create some hand made needle felted items so check back for unique gift items from time to time. Because we like to offer all things alpaca, we do carry some other retail items like socks, hats, mittens, gloves, sweaters, scarves, wraps and capes. We have a few toys for kids and keep our eye open for interesting new merchandise all the time.
As I mentioned, I’m also a potter. You will find some ceramic pieces scattered among the fleece in our store. We try to keep a handful of yarn bowls, cups, mugs, bowls, soap dishes and more functional pieces on hand. Each piece is custom made and glaze colors vary. Some of our fiber items include a ceramic ‘touch’ like our wine totes. Keep a careful eye out for Marcia’s Mud as it weaves it’s way into Silkie’s Farm products.
When we say ‘sustainable’, we mean it. Recently, we have started marketing alpaca ‘beans’ or poo! Sounds crazy, but it is some of the BEST soil enhancing treatment you will ever use. Alpacas are ruminants. They have 3 stomach compartments to digest the hay, grass, and grain they eat every day. Their poo makes an excellent tea for house and patio plants, or it can be used directly on garden beds because it is loaded with plant-loving nitrogen and potassium. We use it on our vegetable and flower gardens all the time. Check out our store for more details.
Finally, I want to welcome you to this site where we will be uploading new information all the time. We will blog about new babies, new merchandise, upcoming events and shows, highlight stories for fellow alpaca breeders, our state affiliate PAOBA – Pennsylvania Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association, our national organization – AOA, and more. So bookmark this page! We want to keep you up to date and hear from you!!