Picture a woman in a van. Onboard are two goats, four chickens, a rooster, three dogs, three cats, a pet rabbit and a guinea pig. She is in a convoy with a float loaded with stud males and wethered herd guard alpacas. Somewhere back at Nanima in the Yass Valley the steel pens, feed buckets, tools and equipment necessary for daily life are being loaded on to trucks.
Drive through Canberra, then along the alpine roads and over the Great Divide. Stop at Nimmitabel for a much needed coffee to prepare for an ultra slow descent down the Brown Mountain. Follow the winding roads through the picturesque Bega Valley to Verona.
Repeat five more times over the next few months to bring down all the pregnant girls, juniors, mums and crias from agistment paddocks in Sutton. The youngest alpaca was just one day old at time of transport, with the journey taking over six hours with regular stops so mum could safely feed her!
Moving farms is not a simple process.
Our new home is on 40 acres just south of Cobargo and north of Quaama. A lovely community full of wonderful people. Like most of the district, the property was burnt out during the black summer fires of 2019. However the house survived and we are hard at work building stables, yards and a fabulous weaving studio with a farm shop.
Behind every item we have for sale is a story of a rural community.
Each alpaca on our farm is fed, cared for and loved by us. It may have been born here or we may have bought it from another breeder anywhere in rural Australia. No matter how far, the passion for alpacas unites us all.
At Wedgetail Rise we buy local whenever possible. Our hay and grain comes from local farmers and feed suppliers. We know them by name and they know us. They have watched our son grow from teenager to a man, as he helps lift bales on to the ute.
We shear our fleece annually. Our shearer has been with us since the beginning. In that time he has met his life partner, they had a son and there’s another baby on the way.
Our local vets are amazing. There is no better sight than their ute turning in the gate at times of dire need. We have been their first call out at Christmas, sharing the triumph of a mum and cria saved. They have cried too, when a battle is lost.
The fencers, the shed builders, and the equipment hire bloke; all locals with families.
Drought brings new mates, Geoff and Gavin, who truck the water in. Stopping the taps from running dry, they are lifesavers with no surf for hundreds of miles.
So, every time you buy from the bush this Christmas remember that you are also supporting a wider rural community – the truckies, the tradies, and the small businesses.