In the Winter of 2001, Darlene saw a late night TV ad about Alpacas, and was very intrigued. She had no idea what these animals were, but needed to find out more about why they were referred to as, “The World’s Finest Live-Stock Investment”. She began to research, online, everything and anything about Alpacas. She talked about them constantly and I must admit, I thought she was a little crazy at first, but soon began to get interested myself.
She had no idea what these animals were, but needed to find out more about why they were referred to as, "The World’s Finest Live-Stock Investment". She began to research, on-line, everything and anything about Alpacas. She talked about them constantly and I must admit, I thought she was a little crazy at first, but soon began to get interested myself.
By the end of March 2002, she had hinted a couple of times that we should get a couple for the back yard. She even went as far as to get a co-worker to call me on April Fool's day to say two had just been delivered to our home. I finally decided to listen closer to her and at least find out more information about the animals and the business.
That May we attended an alpaca show in Northampton MA. There we saw many alpacas and spoke to people from different farms. Lou Ferrara from New England Alpacas was more than willing to educate us on Alpacas and the Alpaca Business. We also spoke with Cindy Lavan from Chase Tavern Farm. From this one show we had already fallen in love with these amazing animals and needed to learn more.
Next weekend we were off to Maple Brook Farm for their annual Customer Appreciation Day. Again we spoke to many people and again one was Cindy Lavan from Chase Tavern Farm. This meeting with Cindy prompted us to accept an invitation to visit her farm.
We made our trip to visit Cindy and Tim at Chase Tavern farm a couple of weeks later. There we spent an afternoon getting our hands on many alpacas and talking about the business. Though it had only been a few weeks since first seeing our first alpaca, we knew we wanted to get more involved with these animals. A few weeks later we found ourselves again at Chase Tavern farm this time ready to purchase some animals. Our house with a half acre lot outside of Boston wouldn't support a farm, so our way into the Alpaca business was as investors. Our initial investment was one half interests in one male and three females. At the time we were happy with the animals we purchased, but didn't know the male would turn out to be the multiple champion Greybeard. We joke at times and say it was our expertise in picking Greybeard. The truth is we were just novices who took the lead from Cindy and Tim and were presented with excellent quality animals and guidance, which we'd like to thank them for.
The next several years were spent helping out at Chase Tavern Farm as much as possible, visiting farms and attending Alpaca Shows and clinics. Basically anything we could do to be involved with Alpacas and learn more about the business. We also continued to re-invest and purchase more Alpacas.
Our herd was beginning to expand, agisting was becoming expensive, and the idea of living in the country, and owning our own farm became our goal. So in the spring of 2005 we sold our house in Wilmington Mass., and purchased an 1880’s classic New England farmhouse with 26 acres of land and a pond in Auburn Maine.
We worked diligently from spring to the fall of 2006, installing fencing and improving barns. Our herd was relocated to our new farm in November of 06, on the night of a Full Moon. It couldn’t have been more perfect.
We experienced our 1st two seasons of birthing in 2007 and 2008, and all went well, and couldn’t have been more exciting with the arrival of each new beautiful cria.
Also in 2008 we added our farm store, “Full Moon Country Store, to our operation. It is located in our old, but beautifully restored, 3 story barn. We also formed, “Tres Farm Yarns”, our joint collaboration with White Barn Meadows in Buxton Maine and Tripping Gnome Farm in Freeport Maine.
In 2008 we purchased 2 alpacas who went onto win Championships that year, TGF Drifter, our Snowmass Legacy Gold son, and Whispering Winds Smoldering Skye, our unique Black Point Gray girl.
So now it’s 2009 and we eagerly await this year’s crop of new cria, and whatever else life holds for us. Stay tuned.
2009 found Mike’s job with Proctor and Gamble being sent offshore to Costa Rica. Not good. We worried that we’d have to sell the farm. But then in March of 2010 he was hired as a Project Manager at BIW (Bath Iron Works) in Bath Maine, working for CSC (Computer Science Corp). Wew. Close call !
So, for now, the farm has been saved. And we eagerly await another birthing season. 2009 was perfect, with all text book births. Hoping for the same in 2010.
And, once again, our 2010 birthing season was “text book” again. 6 gorgeous new cria!! We built a 3rd barn. This is referred to, by us, as our “Rock Stars Suite”. Our Herdsires, and visiting Studs, will be housed here.
In 2011 the first visiting “Rock Star” will be Snowmass Royal Rose. Sire to MANY Champions including, Snowmass Royal Challenger, Snowmass XXXtreme, and CCNF Ring of Fire, to name a few. We are VERY excited, to use him on some of our girls, and our clients, as well !!
Hoping for another “Rocking” 2011 birthing season!!
Yes the 2011 birthing season was perfect once again. 3 girls & 2 boys. ALL stunning. A True-Black girl, 2 Maroon girls, a Light-Fawn boy, & a “Modern” Gray boy!!
We added a new Herdsire in 2011 also. Quarry Ridge Kaptain Karma. He is a grandson of CCNF Archangel and MFI Peruvian Jericho, and REALLY nice!
Michael landed a dream job in 2011, with one of the best employers in the state of Maine, L.L. Bean. He is now a Project Manager for them and LOVES the job! I do as well as we also get the generous employee discount on everything!
We took a year off and had no cria in 2012! Fun summer of traveling for us! Was really nice but I did miss the babies running around!
2013 came and we had 6 beautiful cria. All text book, except one, a slight dystocia, which Mike was able to correct. 4 girls and 2 boys! All stunning!
But bittersweet as we made the difficult decision to retire from the breeding aspect of the Alpaca business, after 11 years. I will sure miss all the new little lives I got to see born on the farm.
I hope to stay involved by brokering for select farms.
So in the Fall of 2013 we sold these 6 cria with their moms, our Herdsires, and the remainder of our beloved herd! They all went to great farms.
Was sad initially for me to look out and see empty pastures and barns, but each day it got better.
So we have decided that after 10 years, in the Alpaca business, to begin the process in 2013 of retiring from it! A difficult decision but we feel the time is right! Onto the next chapter of our lives, whatever that may be?
Darlene & Michael Reardon