We've just completed our first 'show' -- a booth at the Emerald Valley Alpaca Association's annual Alpaca Marketplace. In a long list of 'firsts,' it's the first time we've had a booth of our own plus taken our own animals to a venue. Meeting people that stopped by was the most fun, talking about the animals, the possibilities and enjoyment of raising them, and using their amazing fleece. To some folks, alpacas were completely new animals to them. Others were well-acquainted and had dreamed of them for years.
We sold some fleece from the recent shearing, and some postcard of scenes from our farm. Mostly we invited people to join in on Open Farm Day this coming Saturday, to come see them on the farm in a more 'natural' habitat.
Dargan and Sulaymon went to the show, their first time off the farm. They were mellow and well-behaved. A show like this is 'boot camp' for them, where they learn to handle people coming up to them, and walking nicely on a lead. We'd take them out of the 8'x8' pen several times a day to walk around for exercise and diversion. In keeping with our Americana theme, they sported bandanas on their elegant necks. The bag of prime fleece from recent shearing and a 'Before' photo completed the setting.
Mike volunteered as a clerk in the Fleece Show. He held down the fort when I dashed home midday to let our dog out and to check on our dam Sheba, due 'any day now.' And I'd either make lunch or stop off for a burger to take back to him.
All in all, the show was a great experience for us. Now we look forward to greeting visitors on Open Farm Day on Saturday. Eight farms from the show are hosting this event, and it coincides with Eugene's Olympic Track and Field Trials, so there will be many visitors in our fair city. Lemonade, anyone??