Berry Sweet Suris - Logo

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Show Time Over for the Year

For Berry Sweet Suris the show season has ended. What a great season it was too! We had a lot of fun and racked up some nice ribbons for our girls. But even better, we meet more great people, had fun and as always learned a lot.

Now we are back on the farm getting ready for shearing and doing Spring cleanup. The grass is green and the days are long and beautiful. One of my favorite times of the year. Watered bellies for the first time this year. Lots of happy jumping and rolling going on after having their bellies watered.

Look for more pics and stories about shearing day - It's Coming!!! (May 23)

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Great Day at 2016 National Alpaca Show

Tinker Bell

Tinker Bell

Today was a great day at the 2016 National Alpaca Show. It has been a long tiring day but so exciting.
Very first class, Sundance Kidd of City Girl Alpaca who was born and lives on our farm won 1st place and Reserve Color Champion!!! Congratulations to Rick and Cheryl Yopp. Sundance is truly a beautiful male who we know will grow into a magnificent herdsire.

Berry Sweet Sleeping Beauty and Berry Sweet Tinker Bell both placed Fourth today. The show ring can be very stressful, exciting and intimidating all at the same time. There is some tough competition this year. Congrats to all today's winners.

In addition, we talked to some great folks. Lots of questions asked and answers and several pictures taken with the very cute and talented Clyde who has made a temporary home in the Berry Sweet show pen with Ameila and Gold D Locks. They are now fast friends. It will be hard to separate them when we get home.

Can't wait to see what tomorrow brings. It will be the big day for Gold D Locks, Amelia's Pride, Berry Sweet Little Bo Peep and Cinder Ella's Dream. Time for a good night's sleep so we will all be ready.
Sleeping Beauty

Sleeping Beauty

Cinder Ella takes First!

Cinder Ella takes First!

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Halter Training

A new batch of crias mean the joy of halter training to prepare for the show ring. So excited to get these little ones before the Judges and the public. They are stunning if I do say so myself :) Well at least when they aren't halter training.

Halter training is certainly a learning experience for us and the crias. This year we have five to train. They can be a handful for sure but in the end learning a new skill is so rewarding. Can't wait for them to walk confidently into the show ring - well that is the goal at least.

In the meantime, the crias are jumping, laying down, screaming and just generally not happy about wearing a halter and walking on a lead. We will get there with a little patience and time. Not sure who is training who most of the time. At least we are seeing progress and this weekend is supposed to be beautiful weather. Prefect time to learn to walk side by side :)

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Getting started . . .

Getting started, I read article after article from other farms. Most talked about the year it took to get the farm ready to go before buying animals or bringing them home. I thought to myself - NO WAY! It won't take us a year.

W-e-l-l --- So we purchased our alpacas from a wonderful ranch in Concordia, Missouri - Hasselbring's Harmony Ranch in November 2013. The alpaca FINALLY came home to us on October 17, 2014. Almost a year. There is a reason you should listen to those with experience!

We have really worked hard this past year to get our land/farm ready for the alpaca and the absolutely precious and hardworking pups we purchased from Wings and a Prayer. We are so excited that we have finally realized our dream that has been 10 years in the making.

We are still a work in progress. Especially our website that looks a lot easier than it is for those of us not raised in the computer age. We are learning everyday and loving every minute.

Come check us out if you are in our area. We would love to show you what we have done and have you experience the same joy we do every day by spending time with our great crew that includes alpacas, two pyrs and a great six toed cat named Smokey. You will be glad you did :)

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Back to the Ranch!

We decided that it would be great to take a couple days vacation and head to the Hasselbring's Harmony Ranch to check on our girls and take some pics for the website. As always we had a great time and Patty and Britt were wonderful as always. Unfortunately the weather was not nearly as kind to us. It was a lovely 21 degrees with a wind chill of 1 degree. We snapped photos of our girls until we couldn't feel our fingers anymore :)

We spent time with the little ones -- Festiva and Tomasita. They are just adorable. Tomasita has the cutest dark head and neck. Festiva is more brown. Got some really cute shots. Can't wait to go again!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Alpacas in the Ozarks Regional Show

Show time!!!

Met the Hasselbring's at the Alpacas in the Ozarks Regional Show the weekend of Thanksgiving. Learned so much and had a blast. They even let me show Gennie D who is a beautiful little girl. It was so much fun!!! We learned how to set up, how to show animals and what the Judge is looking for in the animals. Below is me in the show ring. Thanks again Patty and Britt -- as always y'all are the best mentors around.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Festiva Antics

Well, Festiva has been at it. Apparently she is the adventurous type. She has learned to use the dog holes in the fence to get between pastures. She must really want to see what is the other side to crawl through the small hole below.

Gotta love that girl!!!
Hope the others aren’t able to sense she is my favorite. I wouldn’t want to cause them to quit humming. ??

Big Plunge
We’ve done our homework. We found our beauties. It’s official! We are taking the plunge! The Hasselbring’s are parting with eight of their girls, four of whom are pregnant so that we can start our farm with truly quality alpacas.

Of course, the lineup includes Festiva which was always a given, Dyani, Kateri, Lisa Lou, Chinaa, Tomasita, Vashti, and Lisa Marie. So excited! And yet so nervous! Glad we have great mentors like Patty and Britt to help us navigate during our learning curve.

Land – does anyone have land they are willing to part with? Anyone? Anyone?

Friday, October 25, 2013

Love at first sight!

We found a farm only 4 ½ hours away that has 140 suri alpacas. I could hardly wait to make the trip. We contacted the owners, took vacation and away we went. The Hasselbring’s Harmony Ranch is owned by Britt and Patty Hasselbring. They honestly have to be one of the nicest, most hospitable couples we have ever meet.

When we arrived, we were met at the door by Patty and were promptly invited in which surprised both Terry and I. We expected all our conversation and
time would be spent in the pasture with the beautiful alpacas that caught our eye well before we ever made the trip.

Instead Patty and Britt welcomed us into their home. They took the time to listen to us talk about what we were looking for and what we wanted to
accomplish with our farm, shared some hard earned wisdom and then took us on a tour of the ranch.

Almost immediately, I fell in love with the little girl above. Festiva quickly became my favorite and I knew we had to have her. She followed me around and nibbled at my
fingers while we were in the pasture with the Moms and new crias.

As we continued on our tour, I kept notes on my phone of the alpacas that caught my eye and ones I knew I would want to have as our own.

Once we finished the tour, back to the house we went and discussed our next steps. Patty and Britt promised to send us several options at different price points so we could make a decision based on what we felt we needed to start our new business.

It was a great day and one of the most relaxing we had spent in months if not years. We had no idea until we left that we had
spent 4 hours at the Ranch.

Thank you Patty, Britt and all the beauties living on the Hasselbring’s Harmony Ranch. You made my day.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Who knew???

Who knew??? We live in a town of land hoarders! After many years of wishing, hoping, researching and dreaming, we finally made the decision to start our alpaca and
berry farm.

After days of brainstorming and trying names on for size, we finally all agreed on a name for our farm. Very exciting stuff. Even now you are probably wondering how we
lived through all the excitement. Well, ok maybe it isn’t nearly as exciting to everyone else but we were pretty thrilled. Our farm name is Berry Sweet Alpacas.

Our goal is to raise beautiful animals for both quality fleece and breeding. In addition, we plan to raise yummy blackberries, which led to choosing
red and black as our farm colors. It also doesn’t hurt that the Arkansas Razorbacks are red and black and we are only 4 miles from the University of Arkansas and both my sons, our new daughter in-law, and I are all alums.

Next on the list was a farm logo. This was the prefect assignment for my son, Timothy who is partnering with me in this new lifestyle adventure. He developed what I hope you will
agree is a beautiful logo.

Now we are ready --- but wait, no land and no animals. Huh – that could be a problem. It’s not that we haven’t been looking. I am sure we have seen every piece of land available in our area. However, therein lies the problem. There is very little land in our area because apparently the surrounding town was bought up many years ago and the owners are all land hoarders!!! Just kidding. Our community neighbors are great people. They just don’t want to part with any land. What’s a new farm to do? Hard to raise alpacas and grow berries
without land.

Speaking of alpacas, I have found the most beautiful animals. Before getting really serious about looking for livestock, there was much discussionabout Huacaya versus Suri. On one of the many sites that we studied there was discussion that Suris do better than Huacaya in hot weather climate. I personally have always loved these creatures whose curly hair looks much better than mine and of course used the information to my advantage to sway the group toward buying Suris as our first alpacas. Having fallen in love with a couple of animals we have yet to see in person, we are even more ready to go. We know of course, we will actually visit several farms before purchasing any of these lovely animals and will do our best to make informed, wise decisions. And perhaps it wouldn’t hurt if a little luck is thrown in as well.

Now that we have found animals we REALLY want to purchase, the issue with land is even more of, well, an issue.

So the saga of finding land continues. We are hoping soon to hear that one of the land owners we have approached will agree to sell us 2-4 acres so we can get started. It’s like revving your engine with the car still in the garage. Frustrating to say the least but maybe a sign to slow down and really prepare for our new business venture.

Deep breath. It will be alright. We just need to plan.

So plan we do. Back to the business plan that we were working on months ago when we thought land might actually be in our future. It is going to happen. As with most things in life, it all about timing.