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About Alpacas of Lavender Lane

From the moment we read an article about alpacas in the October 2004 issue of Costco Connection Magazine, we knew we had to find a way to become a part of the alpaca lifestyle. The article was about a couple that retired from work, but not from life. The article noted five areas that grabbed our attention and sparked our curiosity. Raising alpacas are an investment with a good return, they offer great tax advantages, you have the ability to travel and enjoy life, live in a peaceful country setting close to urban amenities and with minimal physical labor, we can continue our venture well into our retirement.

Being dog and cat people, but never having had any experience with livestock, we were a bit nervous about how we would go about figuring this all out. After doing some research to learn more about these unique animals, we scheduled visits to a couple of nearby ranches. Next, we attended a seminar in our area to learn even more. While Tammy was doing additional research on the Internet, she discovered an all-inclusive informational book called The Complete Alpaca Book by Eric Hoffman. We ordered the book, read it and scheduled our next visit to Eric s ranch, Bonny Doon Alpacas, located in Santa Cruz, CA. During our visit, Eric and his wife, Sherry, explained the joys of raising alpacas and demonstrated the lifestyle we were looking for. The love and pride they showed for their alpacas quickly spilled over to us and we decided that it was the time to start our adventure. During our visit to Bonny Doon Alpacas, we purchased 3 adult females, 2 maidens and ownership in a promising young herdsire. This was to be our foundation herd for the future. As we were living in the city, our animals remained at Bonny Doon Alpacas for a few months until we could find a new home for them. In March 2005 we moved our animals to Sonora, California, to a ranch named Valley of the Llama, owned by Dr. Robert J. Pollard and his wife Suzi. Agisting allowed us to visit our small herd a few times a month, but it did not allow us to be with our new camelids on a daily basis as we envisioned. We wanted to be more involved and more hands-on with our animals.

2005 was a turning point in our lives. Long commutes and the stress in both our jobs caused us to re-evaluate our current lifestyle. The desire to be closer to our children, and grand children, plus the opportunity to invest in our future was the catalyst for our transition into the alpaca lifestyle.



Tired of living in California and with high hopes, we put our house up for sale and it sold on the 3rd day it was on the market. We started house/ranch hunting in Southwestern Washington. We found 5+ beautiful acres in Battle Ground, Washington and started building our ranch. We spent the first 2 months making our ranch ready for alpacas with fencing and shelters. In October of 2005, we brought our animals to their new home. Green grass and open pastures greeted them. We now have a new barn and more fences to help with our training sessions and husbandry duties.

Our ranch name, Alpacas of Lavender Lane, is the lifestyle we ve always dreamed about relaxed, family-oriented and fun. Tammy s love for lavender inspired the name of our ranch. We think lavender is calming, as are the alpacas. Every place that we have lived we ve grown different types of lavender. We grow and dry the lavender and even make lavender soap in our spare time. With the ranch up and running, Ken has returned to the corporate world for a few more years as the herd grows. Tammy however, has put her teaching career on hold and taken on the role as alpaca mom. Together we work the ranch, manage the business, and thoroughly enjoy our daily alpaca fix as they hum away our stress. "It s a whole different lifestyle with no stress," says Tammy. "It s hard to describe. Some people just think we re crazy not everyone falls in love with alpacas, but those that do, know the joy and calm that they can bring.

Where Beauty, Quality, and Diversity Come Together describes our goals as breeders. We strive to raise healthy alpacas with outstanding fleece, perfect confirmation and great dispositions. We have a diverse group of colored Huacayas with a keen focus on true blacks, silvers and rose grays. At this time, we plan on keeping our herd small enough to provide individual attention on a daily basis. With a goal of 15 20 breeding females and a bachelor pad of 5 6 males, our ranch will provide quality crias each year and allow us to fulfill our dream of independence.










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