TERRE HAUTE —
Don and Jane Conner of Lookout Farm Alpacas are hosting a two-day open house on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 29 and 30, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event is a part of the Alpaca Farm Days in the United States and Canada.
Visitors to the farm at 5665 E. Rosehill Ave. in northeastern Vigo County will have the opportunity to get “up close and personal” with an alpaca. The Conners have been alpaca breeders since 2004 and currently have a herd of 28 alpacas.
Alpacas are fiber-producing animals raised for their soft and luxurious fiber. Their fleece, often compared to cashmere, can be made into a wide array of products from yarn and clothing to blankets and rugs.
Alpacas are member of the camelid family. There are two breed types of alpacas: huacaya (wah-KI-ah) and suri (SOO-ree). Huacayas account for about 90 percent of all alpacas, and have fluffy fleece that gives them a teddy bear-like appearance.
Alpacas are closely related to llamas, but they are much smaller in size. Llamas are raised for pack animals or for guarding herds of sheep or alpacas, while alpacas are raised primarily for their soft and luxurious fiber. Today there are more than 100,000 alpacas registered in the United States with more than 100 farms in Indiana.
Alpacas are very gentle and are safe with children. Visitors are invited to bring their cameras and take advantage of the photo opportunities. Jane Conner will give spinning demonstrations and alpaca products will be available for sale.
Woven scarves, made by local fiber artist John Salamone, from the fleece from Lookout Farm Alpacas will be on display and for sale.
Also available will be knit products (hats, gloves, socks) from the the New England Alpaca Fiber Coop and from Peru, South America.
Children will be given an alpaca-shaped cookie and a souvenir of an alpaca coloring project.
Two other area farms also will be open: Aris Farm of Clinton and White Violet Farm Alpacas at St. Mary-of-the-Woods. Those attending all three open houses will have their name entered in a drawing for a basket of alpaca socks, gloves, yarn, and alpaca manure — called Alpaca Gold.
For directions and more information about Lookout Farm Alpacas, call (812) 239-7699 or visit www.lookoutfarmalpacas.com; for the Aris Farm, call 812-243-9043 or visit www.aris-farm.com; and for the White Violet Farm Alpacas, call 812-535-2930 or go to www.whiteviolet.org.