Small Business

Fields of Gold

I always find myself humming to the tune of Sting’s hauntingly romantic song in the summer. Walking through the fields of gold, watching the dust swirl around the combine. It doesn’t necessarily need to be a barley field I’m walking through; wheat will do just fine, and is equally gold in colour at harvest time.

Walking the stubble fields

It’s the beginning of August and we’re two weeks into harvest, two weeks into alpaca ownership and a week into the school holidays. The weather is stifling hot, although we did get a few days of respite with some very welcome rain and thunder storms. Apparently we had 9 long weeks without rain!

View from the combine cab

But I digress, although a blog post written in August by a farmer’s wife couldn’t possibly omit a mention of harvest!

The alpacas are certainly settling well into life here at Queenholme Farm, although I’m sure it’s a little noisier than what they’re used to. The volume control seems to have broken on our three children, and with the farm yard right next to their paddock, to call it a hive of activity would be putting it mildly!

The girls inside their shelter

My favourite time of day has to be first thing in the morning when I prepare the girl’s breakfast; a mixture of mega grass and Camelibre (the latter is a complete food for camelids), and take it through to them in their shelter. They seem used to this regime already and have started joining me in the shelter as I share their food out in the troughs. The part they’re not overly keen on is when I close the gates behind them and then douse them with fly repellent, but in this hot weather the flies are in abundance, so it really is a necessity. Pre-alpacas I would give myself a spritz of something feminine and floral, but now I find that I leave a faint smell of citronella in my wake. Hopefully that’ll keep the flies from bothering me too!

The girls grazing their paddock

Inferno has established herself as head of the herd, after a brief spitting argument with Iowa on their arrival at the farm. At their previous home, Inferno and Ixia were herd buddies, as were Iowa and Libby. The two pairs hadn’t lived with one another before they came to our farm, so it’s been interesting to watch the herd hierarchy sort itself out.

We are yet to attempt putting the girls on a halter, but we may try in the next week or so. In the meantime we are content just watching these beautiful animals over the fence and hand feeding them some carrots from the garden. Alpacas make a contented humming sound to one another in communication, and it’s a wonderful sound to listen to on a summer’s evening, along with the distant hum of the combine.

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