My husband and I have backgrounds in Health Care, and when we started to think about retirement, we knew we didn’t want to become snowbirds and spend time between Florida or Arizona and Maine, our home. In fact, the more we thought about it and allowed ourselves to dream, the more we realized that we might like to buy a farm and work it into something special. But what to work?
Then it came to us, and I started thinking about some lifetime friends of mine who own an Alpaca farm not far from us and realized that was something we could do. I started to research Alpacas while at the same time talking to my friends, and slowly the vision started to take place and the next thing you know, we’re looking at farms for sale all around us. We ended up purchasing what is now Stoney Ridge Alpaca Farm and Store, a 20-acre piece of paradise on the Kennebec river that needed as much work and love as we could muster.
In the short span of a year, we moved to our new home, renovated the barn, brought a new electric power feed to it, put on a new roof, laid stall mats in the stables, bought cattle gates and made pens, fenced in three pastures and started clearing another 10 acres for pastureland. The crowning joy was our purchase of 20 champion bred alpacas. We quickly fell in love with our 5 boys and 15 girls, and also learned that, if everything went well, we would have 6 babies in the late spring and early summer. Along the way that same year, we inherited Carl the Mystery Alpaca, who is really a miniature llama of unknown age, who felt like he had gone to heaven when he became part of our herd of 20.
As all of this construction, planning, clearing, acquiring and learning was going on, we opened a 500 square foot store to market our Alpaca apparel to our local community, and are now just about to launch our online store and website. It has been one of the fastest years of our lives, and we feel like we are trying to accomplish 15 year’s work in two or three. But we wouldn’t have it any other way. The work and the planning keep us young and active, and we hope we can continue this late into our real retirement. Make some plans to come and visit us and our Alpacas. We hope you will love them as much as we do!!