A move out of the rush of the suburbs into the quiet of the country in 2004 seemed like all we needed to re-set and focus on what we craved most. We wanted more time. We wanted less busy and less obligated. Our days moved from demanding corporate jobs that kept us late and rolled into overly-scheduled, polite social obligations and a self-inflicted pressure to constantly be busy. Change was necessary for us to find more peace and calm.
We moved to 12 acres in Iron Station, NC only about 20 miles from where we were living. While the move should have been enough on its own, what we didn’t realize was how hard we would fall for the farm. All of our time outside of work was dedicated to making the farm our own. We added llamas, horses and goats to our new farm and quickly learned about animal care as well as both the joy and heartache they bring. We became much more acutely aware of the impact we have on our environment and how important that is to us. By the end 2009, Mike further committed to the farm leaving his corporate job and Good Karma Ranch and the business of alpacas began.
Why alpacas specifically? Aside from their obvious beauty and calm nature, alpacas fit perfectly into the environmentally conscious farming practices we had already begun to incorporate including running the farm on solar power, relying heavily on rotational grazing as well as composting practices. Alpacas also produce a renewable fiber, have no negative impact on our small acreage.
Today we focus our business on raising light-colored Huacaya alpacas. Our focus on genetics continues to advance our herd and constantly improve the quality of our animals and their fiber. We focus on the breed standards of the Alpacas Owners Association and bring in genetics from the largest, most-advanced farms in the country. We mentor other farmers as they begin their journey into raising alpacas while we continue to educate ourselves on the latest research from the alpaca community.
We have grown to include not only breeding and selling high quality, registered alpacas, but also focusing on the use of their renewable, soft, hypoallergenic fiber for clothing and home goods. We gently harvest their fiber every April causing them no harm and work with an alpaca fiber cooperative to have it processed into textiles like socks, hats, gloves, scarves, throw blankets and more. We also work with companies to access very high-end garments produced out of alpaca fiber in Peru. Fine pashminas and sweaters are still made mainly in Peru and we want our guests to experience these items as well. No chemicals or harsh cleaning products are needed to clean and prepare the fiber prior to turning it into yarn. Moving from farm to fashion with alpaca fiber is sustainable, renewable and low-impact to the environment.
We also encourage others to visit our farm for tours, yoga, and other events to learn about and interact with alpacas. We love sharing our farm with visitors affording them a glimpse into raising alpacas and a glimpse into the joy of their personalities. Having the farm store both on the farm as well as online allows others to enjoy the benefits of alpaca fiber for themselves taking home a small piece of the peace and calm we created in our little spot in the country.