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Ranch hosts public on shearing day for alpacas

 

SARAH LOWERY

Staff Writer

 

Good Karma Ranch is hosting an open house Saturday designed to offer the public an inside look at the shearing process for alpacas.

This is the second time owners Mike and Shelly Walsh have hosted the free, family-friendly event to correspond with shearing day at their Iron Station ranch, which they started more than three years ago.

“People seem very interested in learning about how we harvest the fiber from the alpacas, so this is a great way to encourage people to come to the farm and learn more about the process,” Mike Walsh said. “Our goals are to educate the general public about alpacas, as well as how we harvest fiber (and) the uses for the fiber.”

The couple also puts on an annual fall festival that showcases local artists and vendors.

Those attending Saturday’s event can expect to see them shearing alpacas, clipping the animals’ toenails and “doing a little dental work,” Walsh said.

Despite it being a working farm day, in between shearing each animal, they will take some time to answer any questions people may have and provide further explanation of the process.

The shearing is done once per year, before the weather gets warm for an extended period of time.

During the open house, four members of the local fiber guild will be demonstrating how they spin fiber into yarn. Additionally, the ranch’s store will be open to showcase products made from alpaca fiber, with compost for people’s gardens and raw fiber also available for sale.

The event will go from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the ranch, located at 1041 Brevard Place Road. A rain date is in place for the same time Sunday.

For more information, call (704) 649-5849 or visit www.GoodKarmaRanch.com.

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