Summer Events 2013

Summer would seem to be a slower paced time of year for Ad Astra Alpacas, but we have been busy all summer!  The shop was taken down in May so we could use the barn for shearing.  We got the alpacas sheared and they are much cooler with their summer haircuts.  All that fiber is being sorted and graded, getting ready to be shipped to be made into products which will be sold in the shop come fall.

We visited the Baldwin Care Center and the alpacas charmed the residents.  I was proud of the 3 boys we took…they were well-behaved and made a hit with everyone.  Alpacas seem to be intuitive…they were especially gentle with the older folks and were careful and respectful of them. They held still so people could feel their soft fleece.  It was a good day!

In June we took 3 different boys to the city library for the summer reading program.  It rained that day, so our plans to have a pen set up out front had to be modified at the last minute.  We ended up setting up our pen in a corner of the activity room and the alpacas came inside, along with the 200 or more children and some adults.  Everything went well…the kids and pacas stayed dry and enjoyed each other.  Alpacas are very tidy creatures…there were no “accidents” although they were in the library for almost 2 hours!

We still have frequent farm visitors, and some even want to buy things in the middle of summer.  The crias are growing by leaps and bounds and the weather hasn’t been too hot, so that’s a blessing!  With the recent rains, we have hopes that our pastures will have some grass growing for fall if we are careful to not let the alpacas graze it too much.

On August 24 we are going to take 2-3 alpacas and go to a Peruvian cultural event in Kansas City.  One of our farm visitors, and now a friend, runs a coffee roasting plant and has wonderful coffees from all over the world.  This event is highlighting Peru, and what better way to showcase things from Peru than by having Peruvian alpacas there!  We are excited for the opportunity to take our alpacas to this event.  It looks to be good company, good food and good times for all attending.

We are working to spruce up the appearance of our farm.  We have new fencing along the front of our property and along both sides of the driveway, which looks fantastic!  We are painting, straightening and getting things ready for our busy fall season, which kicks off with the Kaw Valley Farm Tour on Oct. 5 and 6.  Boxes of new products are beginning to arrive, so I know fall is fast approaching.  I try to find new items to carry in the shop each year and we’ll have some nifty new things along with our tried and true products when the shop opens in October

Please plan a trip to Ad Astra Alpacas this fall.  The Kaw Valley Farm Tour will be from 10 till 6 both Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 5 and 6.  Since there are 27 farms of different types on the tour this year, there should be something to interest every family member.  Buy a ticket, fill your vehicle, and get out to enjoy the countryside and the various farms.  You’ll be glad you did!  See you soon at Ad Astra Alpacas!

Spring Is Here…Really???

Today is Thursday, May 2nd, 2013.  Usually by now we have started the annual shearing of our alpacas.  Not so this year!  It has been unseasonably cool and damp, and our alpacas are not suffering from the heat one little bit.  If you would like to be notified as to when we will be shearing, let us know by either emailing or calling:  grampaca168@gmail.com   or 785-594-6767.

Our first (and maybe only) spring cria arrived on Saturday, April 27th.  Although alpaca births are nine times out of ten uneventful occasions, this one was a challenge for all involved from the mother to the baby to the vet and to us.  The cria was in the most difficult position, and the mother was unable to deliver.  Our wonderful vet was able, through much hard work, to turn the baby so the mother could have her baby, but we all were sure that with that much manipulation the cria would not have survived.  Miracles do happen, though, and our 19 pound female cria not only survived but is thriving!  She’s the darling of the entire herd and has lots of doting “aunties”!

The shop is now closed until fall, but a few things still need to be put away before we begin shearing and cleaning and sorting fiber.  I’m already looking at new things and products to have in the shop come fall.  Lots of beautiful new things, as well as the tried and true will be available, so I hope everyone will plan a visit to see what Ad Astra Alpacas Gift Shop will have to offer in October!

Although I wish the weather was warmer I can’t complain too much since we are receiving much-needed moisture and I can almost hear our pastures breathing a sigh of relief and slurping that water down!

Happy Spring, Everybody!

 

 

First Ever Wedding at Ad Astra Alpacas!

On Monday, March 11, 2013, Ad Astra Alpacas hosted its first ever wedding!

When we started our alpaca adventure in 2005, we never imagined our farm would ever be a wedding site, but nobody knows what the future will hold.  The couple has visited our farm several times and have been charmed by our gentle, sweet-natured alpacas, and decided this was where they wanted to be married.  The alpacas, Bob and I served as witnesses to this happy occasion.

It was a small, intimate wedding, and we had a quiet reception in our shop, since the weather was cold and windy that day.

We hope the newlyweds enjoyed their alpaca wedding as much as we did. Here are some pictures from the event.

 

 

After Christmas Thoughts

Christmas has been celebrated, the New Year has been rung in, and now we settle down for a long stretch of winter.  This might seem to be a slack time, but it’s actually a busy planning time for alpaca owners. 

Now is when we feed and closely observe our alpacas, check on their fleece development, and perhaps get caught up on tasks like registering crias, sending in fiber samples to be tested, and filling out registration forms for upcoming spring shows.  We also evaluate our females, and make spring breeding decisions which we hope will result in even better crias in a year.

Farm stores, such as ours, check inventory to be sure we have enough warm socks, gloves and hats to get people through the cold winter weather yet to come.  Perhaps customers who received money for Christmas will come out to spend it on wonderful alpaca products.

Ad Astra Alpacas wishes to thank all our customers for a wonderful holiday season.  We sincerely hope everyone enjoys their alpaca gifts.  We also want everyone to know we are still open for business.  Hours are Saturday mornings from 9 till noon, and Sunday afternoons from 1 till 5, and of course, anytime by appointment.  There is still most of winter left, so be sure you are prepared with warm socks, hats, gloves, scarves and sweaters.

See you in the barn!

 

 

Holiday Open House

Hey there, Friends!

Here’s a reminder of the Holiday Open House which will be held on Saturday, Nov. 24th and Sunday, Nov. 25th at Ad Astra Alpacas.  Hours will be from 10 till 6 both days.  We hope you will come see what new things we will have in the shop, enjoy some refreshments with us, and have a pleasant, relaxing shopping experience to kick off the holdays.

 

Autumn Activities

The Kaw Valley Farm Tour, held on Oct. 6 & 7, was a great success. Lots of people turned out and the weather cooperated both days, although the brisk temps and wind made Saturday a little chilly and reminded all of us that winter is just around the corner!   Now is a good time to be thinking about warm weather gear, such as socks, hats, scarves and gloves, and Ad Astra Alpacas has a good selection of those items.  Come on out and see for yourself!

The shop will be closed  this coming Saturday, Oct. 27 since we will be travelling to Iwig Dairy’s Fall Festival.  If you missed the Kaw Valley Farm Tour, this would be a great opportunity to have some family fun, meet some of our alpacas, and enjoy lots of other activities that will be going on.  It will run from 11 till 6 on Saturday.

Our gift shop is now open for the season and our hours are normally Saturday mornings from 9 till noon, and Sunday afternoons from 1 till 5.  On Saturday and Sunday after Thanksgiving, Nov. 24 and 25, we will kick off the holiday season with an Open House from 10 till 6 both days.  There will be refreshments and lots of new items that would make wonderful Christmas gifts, so we hope many of you will make time to come visit us and the shop!

 

Manhattan Alpaca Market

Yesterday, Sept. 8th, we attended the Manhattan Alpaca Market for the first time.  It was a fabulous fall day, with lots of bright sun and cool, breezy temperatures.  We set up our booth in the Hurlburt covered arena of Cico Park, and then settled in to greet customers and visit with alpaca friends who were there.  At the end of the day we had sold some items, handed out lots of business cards to people who want to come visit our shop, made some new friends, exchanged ideas with old friends, and even learned some new things. What a great way to spend a beautiful fall day!

Getting ready for fall!

On August 25, a friend and I attended a wonderful seminar in Belleville, KS hosted by Brenda and Ray Danielson of Anvil Alpacas.  The seminar, conducted by Drs. Ed and Ruthann McCaslin of Ohio, featured a morning session on parasites and treatment, led by Dr. Ruthann.  The afternoon session was on the itchy topic of mites, led by Dr. Ed.  Both were very informative and I learned a lot.  Belleville is about 4 hours north and west from where I live, so it was fun to get the chance to see alpaca friends from the western part of the state that I don’t get to see very often.  Lots of talk and laughter and useful information, so it was a great day!

Today’s mail brought more new items for the shop!  Every time I open a new box it’s exciting to see what I will find in there.  I’m never disappointed…the products are wonderful, and I hope you will think so, too.  Lots of new things will be in the shop this year, along with our usual line, so be sure to come check things out. 

Now would be a good time to remind everyone about the upcoming Kaw Valley Farm Tour, which will be Oct. 6 and 7, from 10am till 6pm both days.  For $10 a car, this is a great way to spend quality time with family and friends, enjoying a wide variety of farms.

Today finds me readying the new brochures I’ve made up about our farm and alpacas.  After the workshop on social media I attended recently, I’ve made sure to include a link to our Facebook page as well as a QR code for smart phones.  I guess this old dog can still learn a few new tricks!

Enjoy the end of summer and get ready for a great fall season!

Claudia’s first blog entry

Hi!  Welcome to Ad Astra Alpacas’ blog.  With the cooler temperatures we’ve enjoyed recently, thoughts of fall are on my mind.  That leads me to think of the fun activities that the changing seasons bring to the farm.  By far the biggest event will be the Kaw Valley Farm Tour, the first weekend of October on the 6th and 7th from 10:00 AM till 6:00 PM both days.  Fill your vehicles, and for just $10 per car you can visit all the farms on the tour.  Each farm features unique farming endeavors and there will be something to appeal to all ages….a great way to experience farm living for the whole family!

Items are beginning to arrive to stock the shop, so as soon as I finish sorting and cleaning the remaining fiber and get it sent off to be made into more products, we will begin to set up the shop.  This is a fun part of the fall for me.  We will have lots of new products to choose from, so be sure to schedule a visit.

Our annual Christmas Open House will be Nov. 24 and 25.  New items will be on display and there will be refreshments, so come on out to find those special gifts from 10 AM till 5 PM both Saturday and Sunday.

Well, that’s all for now…get out and enjoy the cooler temperatures and plan a visit to Ad Astra Alpacas sometime this fall!