Local farms participate in National Alpaca Farms Days next weekend

Helen and Timm Herman of Sugartown Farms, in Ellicottville, will host an open house for National Alpaca Farm Days on both Saturday, Sept. 28 and Sunday, Sept. 29. They have six cria in their herd of 50 alpacas for people to view. A young visitor is shown among the animals wearing a hat made from alpaca fiber and holding a teddy bear also made from the fiber.

Several Cattaraugus County farms are set to join other alpaca farms across the country to observe National Alpaca Farms Day next weekend, Sept. 28 and 29.

During this weekend, families will have the opportunity to visit the farms where they can get up-close to alpacas for a hands-on experience. Visitors can learn about the animals and their history, how to raise them, their fleece and the products made from it.

Alpaca farm owners will be happy to offer tips and suggestions to visitors who might be interested in beginning their own small alpaca operation. People will learn the cost of having an alpaca, the babies (cria) and the tax benefits.

Sugartown Farms of Ellicottville will be participating in Alpaca Farm Days and plan to be open both Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Helen and Timm Herman welcome visitors to their alpaca farm, located at 6277 Sugartown Road, just south of the village line.

Co-owner Helen Herman said they will have alpacas available for viewing and touching. They’ll talk about the alpacas during an educational tour and their gift shop, Sugartown Farms Store, will be open.

“We’ve been in the business about 15 years,” she said. “We currently have about 50 alpacas in our herd. Six cria have been born, with two more to go.”

Herman said their farm store offers a wide variety of quality alpaca apparel including sweaters, socks, hats, gloves, sweaters, and scarves. It also features a selection of handmade heirloom quality bears; blankets; and soft, fleecy toys for a very special and unique baby gift.

Spinners, knitters and fiber artists will find a wide range of products including yarns, rovings, raw fleeces and batting.

Sugartown Farms is open weekends and weekdays by appointment year-round. Herman said they also host an open house the weekend of Ellicottville’s Fall Fest during Columbus Day Weekend. To learn more, contact Sugartown Farms at 699-2902, email helen@sugartownfarms.com or visit online at openherd.com and Facebook.

Mager Mountain Alpacas, in Little Valley, and A Slice of Heaven Alpacas, in Randolph, will also hold open houses during Alpaca Farms Days. Check next week’s edition for dates and times.

During National Alpaca Farm Days weekend, each alpaca farm will offer different attractions, demonstrations and activities. A map of participating farms can be found online at alpacainfo.com, but please note that not all participating alpaca farms are listed.

Although the alpaca farms listed below are not able to participate in the Farm Days event this year, they do offer tours/visits to their farms by appointment. Visit them on their websites and Facebook.

LadySong Farm is unable to participate because they will be at the Western New York Fiber Festival that weekend. While there, owner Judith Korff will be happy to meet anyone interested in alpacas and discuss the prospects of the future of the industry, raising Suri alpacas, or designing and marketing alpaca fiber products.

The farm sells handspun yarn from its Suri alpacas on its website, ladysong.alpacanation.com. The farm is located at 2473 Bunker Hill Road in Randolph.

Cardinal Acre Alpacas will not be open for farm days, but they welcome visitors any other time if they call ahead. See alpacas of all colors and ages, learn about their history, daily care routine, and incredible value of their fleece.

The gift shop carries a wide variety of alpaca-related products — many hand-knit or crafted from their alpacas’ fleece. Call 307-4582 for hours. The farm is located at 9759 Manley Hill Road in Little Valley.

Never Ending Alpaca Farm is unable to participate this year, but welcomes visitors to come other times by calling 933-8561 first. Owners Jerry and Kathy Scutt are eager to help others who wish to start an alpaca farm.

They will explain the benefits of having an alpaca farm, as well as the ins-and-outs of breeding alpacas. Visit online at neverendingalpacafarm.com. The farm is located at 1285 Lillibridge Road in Portville.