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September 17, 2013 - 2:08pm

Sponsored Post: Visit Genesee County’s Alpaca Farms year-round but also especially on National Alpaca Farm Days!

 

Visit Genesee County’s Alpaca Farms year-round but also especially on National Alpaca Farm Days! By Lindsay Hawkins

Recently, the tourism staff of the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce spent some time with Jake, Florence, Oliver, Stella, Alita and Al. If you’ve never visited one of the County’s six alpaca farms, those names might not mean much to you, but friends were made (human and fleece-y) at Alpaca Odyssey, Northwoods Alpacas, Triple B’s Alpaca Farm, and Enchanted Forest Alpacas.

At every farm, we learned something different about alpacas. We learned that alpaca fleece wicks away moisture, females carry their babies (crias) for 11 to 13 months, they spit when they’re mad (at you or one another), and that alpaca farms draw international visitors! 

These farms are open to visitors year-round, but the industry celebrates its craft with National Alpaca Farm Days each September. This year the event will be Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 28-29. Several of our farms are participating and welcome your visit!

More details after the jump (click the headline to view more):

Alpaca Delights

10311 Bethany Center Road, East Bethany, NY 14054 

(585) 344-2983

Made in America hand-spun yarn donated by their alpacas! Visit the alpacas and purchase yarn at their small store. 

How to visit this farm:

 

Alpaca Odyssey

8100 Marble Road, Akron, NY 14001

(585) 542-3939

www.AlpacaOdyssey.com

Alpaca Odyssey & Mercantile of Akron has only been open for four years, but they have quite the collection of alpacas from this hobby-turned-business – twenty-five (and one llama) to be exact. Owners Cathy Marble & Michael Margarucci say they have mostly Huacaya alpacas (the fluffy ones) but they do have several Suris (longer, curly hair, more rare and expensive), as well. Their large, flat property is great for groups and is handicapped accessible. Wide-open land lends itself to petting, feeding, and walking the alpacas.  Be sure to browse the store shared with Triple B’s and pick up some homemade alpaca crafts!

How to visit this farm:

  • Groups and families can bring a picnic lunch and watch the alpacas roam the grounds. Visiting the farm is free, however there is a suggested donation of $2 per person for a tour, feeding, and /or walking experience with the alpacas.  
  • For groups of 10 or more, the farm will offer a tour, 30-minute fiber-spinning demonstration, and the opportunity to create a simple alpaca fiber craft.  Advance registration is required for this group experience and there is a suggested donation of $4 per person.  
  • Participating in this year’s National Alpaca Farm Days (September 28 and 29) 

 

Alpaca Play Pen, LLC

10869 Bowen Road, Attica, NY 14011

(585) 591-2520

www.AlpacaPlayPen.com

Handmade alpaca items and custom orders are their specialty! From the pasture to you -- purchase goods such as socks, hats, sweaters and scarves made from the soft and warm fiber of an alpaca! The folks at the Alpaca Playpen farm enjoy raising these charming animals and creating useful garments. 

How to visit this farm:

  • Farm visit by appointment.
  • Products and alpacas are available for requested local events. 

Here’s where you’ll find Alpaca Playpen next:

9/21 -- Alpacas and products onsite at Sweet Jenny's on Main Street in Williamsville  

9/22 -- Alpacas and products onsite at Johnny Bears Restaurant in Darien  

9/28-29 -- Products for sale at the AppleUmpkin Festival in Wyoming, NY 

10/5-6 -- Attending the Agricultural Fair at the Genesee Country Village & Museum  

 

Enchanted Forest Alpacas

7477 Selden Road, Le Roy, NY 14482

(585) 768-7219

Enchanted Forest Alpacas in LeRoy was the smallest of the four farms visited (in size – not spirit!), with 11 alpacas. Owner Martha McCutchen grew up on the farm in the house out front, where she used to care for her family’s horses and livestock. Martha is a strong advocate that alpacas are fiber animals – NOT meat animals. She is a member of a fiber guild and Alpaca Breeders of WNY and has alpaca products for sale at the Hobby Horse in Le Roy. 

How to visit this farm:

  • Perfect for small groups who want a hands-on experience. Visitors will need to call ahead for the whole package -- a tour, feeding, watching an alpaca video, and creating a felt ball craft. 
  • Participating in this year’s National Alpaca Farm Days (September 28 and 29) 

 

Northwoods Alpacas

6499 North Lake Road, Bergen, NY 14416

(585) 494-1371

www.NorthwoodsAlpacas.com

Northwoods Alpacas in Bergen has 24 alpacas – none of whom like the rain. Apparently, they’ll stand outside in the middle of winter, but even though the moisture can’t reach their skin, they ran for cover when it started sprinkling! Several pregnant alpacas are due in the fall, bringing their total occupancy close to 30. Owners Bob and Belinda Grant aren’t worried. They have plenty of land on their farm for everyone to roam. 

How to visit this farm:

  • Northwoods’ can accommodate parking for a bus, as well as larger group tours -- which include petting, feeding, and walking the alpacas. There is a suggested donation of $2 per person and groups get a discount at the onsite store! 
  • The upscale store is a cool breath of fresh air from the summer humidity (or a warm spot in the winter!) Sweaters, scarves, hats, blankets, a wall full of socks and yarn, and golf attire fill the stocked space. 
  • Participating in this year’s National Alpaca Farm Days (September 28 and 29) 

 

Triple B’s Alpaca Farm

1892 Sharrick Road, Darien Center, NY 14040

(585) 547-9271

It’s not every day that one gets to see an hour-old newborn alpaca! It was like a scene from “Bambi” – the shaky legs trying to walk, nuzzling close to his mother, and falling into to the grass. That brings the count to 23 alpacas for Triple B’s, with five more due to deliver soon. Since opening in Darien Center in 2006, the Burgess family has been breeding alpacas and caring for them like they do their cats and dogs. 

How to visit this farm:

  • The alpacas are visible from the road, roaming the fields that are dedicated just to them. Visits to the Burgess’ are encouraged in all seasons, though spring and summer lend the most accessible conditions. 
  • Feeding, walking, and (if you come at the right time of year) watching the alpacas being sheared. A suggested donation of $2 a person helps support a local family farm!

Visit Genesee County Tourism for a complete list of agritourism businesses, or to request the Genesee County Agritourism brochure.

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