Guess Who’s In The News?

I was one of the vendors at the Easton Farmers Market that was featured in Columbus Monthly magazine!

The Alpaca Cat Toys referenced in the article are actually felted, not knit.  They are very simple and fun to make and I sell lots of them!  If you are interested in making some yourself, I offer kits to make them complete with the fiber, foam block to work on, a special felting needle and illustrated instructions!  Great gift idea!

Felted Alpaca Cat Toys

Ben also wrote about the fur of alpacas.  I don’t think I’ve ever referred to it this way but it did make me wonder and I frequently get asked, what is alpaca hair called?  I thought maybe I should be sure about what I tell people so I Googled it … and the following is what Wikipedia has to say.

Alpaca fleece is the natural fiber harvested from an alpaca.  It is light weight or heavy weight, depending on how it is spun. It is soft, durable, luxurious and silky natural fiber. While similar to sheep’s wool, it is warmer, not prickly, and has no lanolin which makes it hypoallergenic. Alpaca is naturally water-repellent and difficult to ignite.

Wool is the textile fiber obtained from sheep and certain other animals including alpacas, so hair from alpacas can also be referred to as wool.

Alpaca Fleece

So, I think of fleece as the coat of the alpaca, the whole boat.  Fiber then, refers to the individual pieces of the fleece.  Looking a little further I did learn that fur is a synonym for hair, so there you go!  Call it hair, fleece, fiber, wool, and yes even fur.

The magazine article follows…

exotic offerings

Quick, name the one item in this group that can’t be found at Easton Town Center: a sequined camouflage handbag from J. Crew, a sterling silver heart lock bracelet from Tiffany & Co. and a knitted cat toy made out of alpaca fur.

It’s a trick question. They all can be purchased at Easton. That is, if you include the items at the Easton Farmers’ Market, which debuted this year in one of the mega shopping complex’s many parking lots. Among the vendors there is Alpaca Meadows, a Mansfield-based farm owned by Julie and Matt Petty. The couple fell in love with the camelids during a visit to a farm with their children one summer several years ago, and raising them, according to Julie (shown), “looked like something we thought we’d enjoy doing.” Despite having no farming experience (“the closest thing we’d ever been to a farm was ‘Green Acres’ on TV,” says Matt), the couple opened Alpaca Meadows, where Julie, who specializes in crafts, began incorporating alpaca fur into her daily works. Though strikingly exotic and foreign to most American farmers and consumers (alpacas are native to the Andes Mountains in South America), the animals are surprisingly simple to care for, the Pettys say. “They don’t get sick easily and can roam on a relatively smaller amount of land” than cattle, Julie says. Adds her husband, “They don’t eat a whole lot.” Alpaca fur, noted for its incredible softness, is the luxurious older sibling of wool, with many similar uses. Among the items the Pettys sell at their farm, from their tent and on their website (alpacameadows.com) are hats, scarves, mittens, rugs, sweaters and novelty toys—all made entirely of alpaca fur. Additionally on sale are alpacas themselves. Ranging from roughly $2,000 to $12,000, the animals are priced according to their proportion—their overall shape—and the quality of their fleece. “We want to be producing a soft, luxurious fleece,” Julie says. “It all depends on their diet and bloodline. All of that comes into play when figuring out their price.” Hold back your excitement, though. The alpacas are available at the farm only, not at Easton. And even so, it’s doubtful they’d let you ride them.

—Ben Zenitsky

Event Schedule

Weather pending, these are the markets, shows, and festivals I plan on attending this year.

March 19 – Artisan Days at Local Roots, Wooster

April 9th – OPENING DAY at North Union Farmers Market, Shaker Square

April 29th – 4th Friday Celebration in Historic Downtown Westerville, UPTOWN ALIVE

May 14th – North Union Farmers Market, Shaker Square

May 27th – 4th Friday Celebration in Historic Downtown Westerville, BACK TO NATURE

June 4th – North Union Farmers Market, Shaker Square

June 8th – North Union Farmers Market, Cleveland Clinic

June 16th – Easton Farmers Market

June 18th – Artisan Days at Local Roots, Wooster

June 24th – 4th Friday Celebration in Historic Downtown Westerville, SAFETY FEST

July 2nd – North Union Farmers Market, Shaker Square

July 14th – Easton Farmers Market

July 17th – Christ United Methodist Church, Ashland

July 22nd – 4th Friday Celebration in Historic Downtown Westerville, WORLD BAZAAR

July 30th – North Union Farmers Market, Shaker Square

August 11th – Easton Farmers Market

August 20-21 – Mid Ohio Fiber Fair in Newark, Ohio

August 26th – 4th Friday Celebration in Historic Downtown Westerville, DOG DAYS OF SUMMER

September 15th – Easton Farmers Market

*September 17-18 – A Wool Gathering in Yellow Springs, Ohio

September 23rd – 4th Friday Celebration in Historic Downtown Westerville, SCHOOL DAZE

September 24-25 – National Alpaca Farm Days at Alpaca Meadows

October 7-8 – “Country Harvest Festival” at P. Graham Dunn, Dalton, Ohio

October 22nd – Westerville Central Arts & Crafts Bazaar

November 5th – Mark Twain Craft Bazaar, Westerville

November 12th – Christmas Felting Class at Alpaca Meadows

November 26th – Artisan Days at Local Roots, Wooster, Ohio

December 3rd – Christmas Wreath Making Class at Alpaca Meadows

December 10th – Christmas Open House, Alpaca Meadows

December 17th – Artisan Days at Local Roots, Wooster

January 14th – Just Sit-N-Knit or Crochet or Spin,  Alpaca Meadows

Visit The Farm Store at 1200 Rock Road in Mansfield, Ohio on SATURDAYS from 2pm-5pm. Or come another day, but call first (419) 529-8152 to be sure I’m home.

*We will be closed on September 17th.

Easton Farmers Market – NEW!

I received a message this morning that Alpaca Meadows was approved to be in the NEW Farmers Market at Easton Town Center.  How exciting!

I just read this about Easton, “As Columbus’ #1 retail destination, Easton Town Center is a 1.7-million square foot urban town center featuring pedestrian-friendly streetscapes, open-air gathering spaces, fountains, children’s parks, and more than 170 best-in-class retail, entertainment and dining tenants and office space.

Co-developed by The Georgetown Company, Steiner + Associates and Limited Brands, Easton Town Center opened in June of 1999. The following year, The International Council of Shopping Centers recognized it with its prestigious Innovative Design Award. Easton Town Center is widely benchmarked for development excellence, and currently draws more than 20-million visits annually.”

And now, they will offer a Farmers Market, that will bring in farmers, growers and artisans from the great state of Ohio.  Perhaps there will be a few that are looking for alpaca!

Easton Farmers Market

The market will be open on Thursdays 3 pm – 7 pm, June through September.  Look for Alpaca Meadows to be there on June 16th, July 14th, August 18th, and September 15th.  For those of you that are nearby, mark your calendars!

Upcoming February Events at Local Roots

If you missed the Cooking Contest at the Roots Fest last weekend, the Winning Recipes have been posted!  It was a busy place with many activities throughout the day.

To die for was the Local Roots Birthday Cake, a Butternut Squash Layer Cake made by Betsy Anderson.  I wish I had a picture to show you – it was darling!  Betsy shares her recipe and a picture in the Local Roots February Newsletter.

There are some great classes scheduled for February at Local Roots.

I would love to get over for the Raised Gardening Class this weekend.  It is being taught by Master Gardener Susan Sivey in Wayne County.  She has pictures of her gardens on her website, Noah’s Landing.  Susan also has a yarn shop!

Susan's Garden

THE CLASSES

February 5
Open Knitting Circle
Local Roots, 10 AM-12 PM

February 9
Local Roots Board Meeting
Local Roots, 7:30 PM

February 9 and 22
Introduction to Poultry Production
Local Roots, 7 PM

February 10
Papermaking Class
Local Roots, 6:30 PM

February 11-12
Chocolate Daze
Downtown Wooster

February 12
WCSEN E-waste recycling drop off
Local Roots 9 AM-3 PM

Raised Beds and Permanent Beds
Local Roots, 2-3:30 PM

FREE “Upcycling” Jars Art Project
Local Roots, 9 AM-3 PM

February 14
Valentine’s Day

February 17
Basic Cheesemaking
Local Roots, 6:30 PM

February 19
Open Knitting Circle
Local Roots, 10 AM-12 PM

February 21
President’s Day

February 24
Water Workshop
Local Roots, 6 PM

For more information about the classes, read the Local Roots February Newsletter.

Interested in Raised Gardening?  Here are some books that might interest you.

What is Local Roots?

It is located in Wooster, Ohio just about 40 minutes from home for me.
Here is their mission statement…

“To establish a year-round market place for the purpose of connecting consumers and producers of locally grown foods and other agricultural products. Our goals are to encourage healthy eating, expand local economic development, promote community involvement, and sustainable living.”

If you’re in the area, it is definitely worth checking out!

Alpaca Meadows Joins Local Roots

I’ve been hearing about Local Roots for awhile, wasn’t sure what it was, now I know!

It is located in Wooster, Ohio just about 40 minutes from home for me.  Here is their mission statement…

Growing Local Roots – Our Mission

“To establish a year-round market place for the purpose of connecting consumers and producers of locally grown foods and other agricultural products. Our goals are to encourage healthy eating, expand local economic development, promote community involvement, and sustainable living.”

Membership is at the heart of a cooperative.  Local Roots is a producer/consumer co-op, which means both sellers and shoppers can join.

There is an online ordering system where products can be shipped, or ordered ahead and picked up at the market.

There are plans to open up a cafe that uses local food, a local butcher that would like to open shop in the back of the building selling locally raised meat, and plans to install a commercial kitchen that the farmers can use to add value to their produce.

Alpaca Head Hugger

Artisan Days are held periodically throughout the year and the market is packed with local artists and crafters selling a wide variety of hand-crafted gift items.

Felted Alpaca Mittens

Many of my handmade alpaca items are available for sale now at Local Roots.

Alpaca Head Hugger

Their regular market hours are Wednesday – Friday from 11 – 7 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Suri Alpaca Yarn

A “Get Back to Your Roots” Festival is planned for Saturday, January 29, and will be a celebration of the one year anniversary of opening the doors at Local Roots.  The main event will be a recipe contest.

'Paca Purse

Shoppers can sample and vote on their favorite.

Mitten Felting Kit

I am planning on taking my spinning wheel and spending the day spinning, visiting, and sampling!  I also hope to have some NEW handmade alpaca items…

Alpaca Hat and Texting Mittens

I know a plant sale is in the works and many other exciting events that promote community and buying local.  See the Calendar of Events to find out what’s ahead!



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Alpaca Meadows