Archive for November, 2008

We lost an alpaca last week…

Albie, four year old male alpaca, the second one born at Heartland Farm, died last Saturday (11/22/08) after an  illness that disrupted his life off and on for four months.  At the end, he was being treated for possible ulcer in his second stomach (alpacas have THREE stomachs).  He would eat very little, and had become very thin.  He died peacefully in the morning, in the paddock near the feeding trough.  While we will greatly miss this gentle and beautiful alpaca, we are happy that he is no longer having trouble eating, and getting weaker and weaker.

In this picture it is as though he is saying :”Here’s looking at you!” In the picture below,  Shana is having a  talk with  Albie.



November 30, 2008 at 7:39 pm Leave a comment


We always wanted to do some alternative type of building, so in 1994 we put up a hermitage built with straw bales out in our pasture. It is what is called a “load bearing walls straw structure” which means the roof sits on the straw bale walls, without post and beams.

Straw Bale Hermitage

Straw Bale Hermitage

We have enjoyed this hermitage very much over the years, so when we wanted to put up a 1600 ft. art studio, we chose again to use straw bale construction. We built this building in 2000. It houses a pottery, studio work-room, spinning room, solarium in which to grow plants, and a central meeting room with small gift shop and composting toilet bath room. It is the octagonal building behind the alpacas in this photo.

Straw Bale Studio behind the alpacas Albie and Marshfellow

Straw Bale Studio behind the alpacas Albie and Marshfellow

And now, this summer, we have been helping Shana and Jared to do some straw bale building on the land they purchased near here. Here we are building the walls of the green house. Next summer they hope to construct their home made with straw bales on this property.

Matias, Jared and Jane "stitching" the plastering wire to the bales.

Matias, Jared and Jane

Matias, Jared and Jane fixing the wire to the straw bales.

November 6, 2008 at 11:44 pm Leave a comment