Last Thursday, the pre-kindergarten class at Comfort Elementary School in Trenton bundled up to brave the chilly air and swirling leaves for a field trip to the farm.
They came excited to meet the animals and learn about farm life. Their first friend of the day was Eeyore, who was happy to welcome them. He always loves attention!
Next they got to meet Hank and Patsy, who are always happy to entertain a crowd — especially if they get their backs scratched in the meantime.
Finally, they met the alpacas and learned that their fiber is used for making lots of things, from warm sweaters to beautiful brooches.
All in all, it was a fun-filled day for Comfort Elementary School’s pre-k kids who got to enjoy a sunny, crisp day at Bright Star Farm.
For more information about planning a Bright Star Farm field trip or event, email brightstarfarm [at] wildblue [dot] net.
When you think of farms, what comes to mind first? Maybe Old MacDonald's farm complete with cows, pigs, chickens, and even sheep. But what about alpacas? What are they, anyway?
Native to South America, alpacas are long-haired mammals related to the llama. They're usually kept in herds and bred for their fiber. Alpaca fiber, much like wool, is used for making woven and knitted items like scarves, hats, sweaters, gloves, and blankets, among other things. Because it's so thick, it's a great textile to use for making cold-weather products that keep people warm. It's even smoother than sheep's wool, so it doesn't leave you feeling itchy.
Though alpacas originally came from South America, people all over the world currently breed and raise them for fiber. They generally have very easy dispositions, but beware: some alpacas spit! They usually save their spitting for other alpacas, but if you happen to get in the way, well, it could happen to you, too.
Alpacas are social in the sense that they thrive in herds, but they don't usually like to be surprised or touched unexpectedly by humans. Some, however, do like to be rubbed, as long as they're not spooked by anything.
If you like a quiet farm, alpacas are a good fit. They usually don't shriek, bark, or make a lot of noise. Instead, alpacas prefer to hum to each other. Though the humming can mean many different things, it typically means they are content or signifying their presence to one another. (Sometimes it's even fun to hum back to them to see if the notice. They often do!)
They're also easier to feed than many other farm animals, as they thrive mostly on grass and other plants. They're usually content to spend the day grazing -- which is also a great way to keep your pastures trimmed!
Alpaca fiber is a renewable resource. It grows back every year, so it turns a profit every year, too. Its glossy softness, strength, and flame-resistance make it an excellent choice for farmers who want to keep animals and make a living, too.
Grab some tea, kick back, and relax with us for a while.