Jerry and Lynne Braatz have been opening the doors to their Jersey Breeders alpaca farm in Tabernacle for the last nine years to offer the community a little insight into what life is like on an alpaca farm, along with just how many beautiful products there are that come from these friendly creatures.
Through a series of family-oriented events, people can peruse their pastures, enjoy a quality range of soft fleece products, and get up close and personal with their herd of approximately 40 alpacas—and these events are about to kick into full gear this fall. It all starts with National Alpaca Farm Days, an initiative sponsored by the Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association (AOBA) to enlighten and educate people across the country about their local alpaca farms and owners. This year’s open houses at Jersey Breeders are scheduled for Sept. 28 and 29, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and are open to all ages.
“Families like the open houses because it opens up a whole new world to their children. It is great to see families enjoy being hands-on with alpacas for the first time,” says Lynne Braatz, co-owner of Jersey Breeders. “Plus, it gives them an opportunity to shop and buy local.”
At the Sept. 28 and 29 open house, there will be a live spinning demonstration presented by Heather Smith from noon to 4 p.m. Come and see how to make raw fiber into fine yarn.
Jersey Breeders will also have holiday Open Farm days on Dec. 7 and 8, where the whole family can browse the farm’s impressive acreage, buy one-of-a-kind alpaca gifts, enjoy photo opportunities, and learn a thing or two about this unique lifestyle. These open houses have always been a popular attraction for families to tour a real working farm and learn more about the products derived from alpacas.
Products made from alpaca fleece range in many natural hues of black, brown and white, but can also be dyed in a wide range of colors. From light-weight summery scarves to thick winter sweaters, alpaca clothing adapts to changing seasons and styles. But it doesn’t stop there. The distinctively soft alpaca fibers can be found in blankets, gloves, hats, socks—even children’s stuffed animals.
Come and see the wide variety of alpaca products, which includes items such as classic sweaters, hats for adults and children, socks, scarves, mittens and gloves. Much of their products are made right here in the USA or Peru. Their tagline is “Grown, Shorn and Worn in New Jersey.”
Interest not only in alpaca products but in alpacas themselves has been a growing trend in the last several years due in part to a national movement of people transforming their small acreage to become involved in agricultural activities. For those interested in the rewarding lifestyle of alpaca raising, Jersey Breeders offers a full-day class to educate you on that endeavor. “The Alpaca Toolbox” will go over everything one would need to know regarding how to get into the profession of raising alpacas for a business or for pleasure. The seminar, taught by the farm’s knowledgeable staff, is scheduled for Oct. 5 and Nov. 9 and will be presented at the farm.
For more information on alpaca farm life, be sure to “like” the Jersey Breeders Facebook page, where they post daily news. You can also view hundreds of pictures of the alpacas, including a video of a live birth, at Facebook.com/JerseyAlpacaBreeders.
For more information on classes, events and where to find Jersey Breeders’ products, call (609) 268-8656 or visit JerseyAlpacas.com.
364 Tuckerton Road, Tabernacle
Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Family Magazine, Volume 4, Issue 7 (September, 2013).
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