Our story begins on Cape Breton Island in 1897, four generations ago, when Isabel’s great grandparents Hugh and Mary MacDougall (MacEachern) started their farm on 100 acres of land.
In 1996, we took over the farm business with three alpacas, two dogs and two cats! When choosing a livestock animal to raise on the land, we looked for an animal that was unique and different from the traditional farming livestock. Our focus was on an animal that would be easily maintained and work with our careers and existing family life. Thus, the idea of raising alpacas was born.
Over the next 12 years, we educated ourselves on alpacas, getting to know the animal husbandry around these exotic animals and mostly, learning about their luxurious fibre. Alpaca’s are an intelligent, gentle and compassionate animal of the camelid family. They come in 22 natural hues and have two different fibre types, the Suri and Huacaya. The Huacaya is the most common type with a crimp or wavy like fleece while the Suri has long, straight lustrous stands. We have been building our heard with a mixture of both fleece types.
THE “GRASS TO BACK” PHILOSOPHY
We quickly realized that our true passion was to farm. In 2010, we returned to build on our previous knowledge and experience. The discovery, that blending different fibre types with the alpaca was a key part of creating and advancing our products. We then added sheep to our expanding farm operation using the Romney for the quality of the fine wool as well as their calm temperament.
Today, we continue to produce a high quality and luxurious product that still promotes agriculture and living off the land in a unique way.
We strive to educate the public on the unique quality of the fibre.
From the beginning, we have operated as a family farm through the generations and currently we operate through the efforts of the entire family (Barry, Isabel, Caitlin, Madison and Grace).