Yesterday I took a ride about an hour south to Carrollton Ohio to visit a unique farm. An Alpaca Farm. A what you say? An Alpaca Farm. Resembling a llama, these adorable animals are bred for their fiber, which is used in making woven and knitted items such as hats, socks, gloves, scarves, sweaters, ponchos and blankets. If you are a knitter you can also purchase the yarn.
Lana Bella Alpaca Farm is only 20 minutes southeast of Canton and is definitely a neat place to stop. Owner Jody Hezoucky is not only very friendly but extremely knowledgeable about alpacas and the process of sorting fiber.
What a labor of love that is. I learned all about the alpaca as well as about the different grades of fiber they produce. In a few weeks all the alpacas on the farm, about 50 of them will be getting their summer cut via a shearing process.
Then all this fiber is sorted, graded and sold. Jody also knits her own wonderful alpaca designed hats as well as other products from her alpacas coats. The whole process was very fascinating and I never realized just how much went into fiber producing, sorting and selling.
What a great place to take the family for an outing as well as purchase some wonderful alpaca outdoor socks for those future family outdoor excursions from the gift shop. Per Jody the fiber actually pulls the moisture away from your feet making alpaca socks extremely popular. Can’t make the trip? The Lana Bella Alpaca Farm has an online shop. http://4alpaca.com/shop/
What to spend the weekend or a few days getting to know the animals? Well you are in luck. The Lana Bella Alpaca Farm actually has a bed and breakfast right on the premises. And I have been told you will not go away hungry with the chickens on site producing your eggs and fresh bacon and sausage. A true farm breakfast.
So if you are looking for an unique gift item this year, why not purchase a Made In Ohio alpaca hat or Nordic Alpaca Chullo. You will not only be supporting an Ohio farmer but those adorable alpacas.
For additional information about the Bed and Breakfast, the Alpaca gift shop or farm contact Jody at 330.627.6000 or check out their website at www.4alpaca.com.