Did you know there is an alpaca farm only 1.5 hours away from Savannah in Cottageville, SC? Not only that, they’re having a grand opening event on April 17th where you will be able to meet the alpacas, as well as, the other farm animals at Herd It Here Farm. We spoke with Bill Power, owner & alpaca head honcho, about his farm & what to expect at the event.
Tell us a little bit about the owners Sheryl Rudy and Bill Power and the farm set to open in April 2021?
The farm was established in 2019. We’ve always had a passion for animals and nature and when we moved to Cottageville, we finally had enough room to turn that passion into something to share with others! After a long career in the catering business, Sheryl has spent the last few years working in food services in elementary schools. She adores the children and has made educating kids about chickens, alpacas, goats and horses a prime focus of the farm. Bill has spent his career building and running small businesses and when he’s not taking care of the animals, he works with small business owners around the country.
What made you want to raise alpacas? What other kinds of animals do you have on the farm?
Alpacas are one of the most mystical creatures on earth. They’re gentle, beautiful and a bit weird. I’ve loved them for years and years and am so excited to now officially be their shepherd. Sheryl is the mother hen to a flock of very fancy Silkie chickens. She’s truly the chicken whisperer! We recently added three fainting goats and five pygmy goats to the Herd and we have our eyes on a couple of miniature Scottish Highland cows to add later in the year.
You have a grand opening event soon, can you tell us more about what people can expect and how to get tickets?
We’re very excited about the grand opening! In addition to getting up close and personal with the animals, we’ll also have demonstrations of how their fiber is spun into yarn and how it can be “felted” and made into various pieces of clothing, art and kids toys. We’ll also have a professional artist to demonstrate animal portraits. Specifically for the kids, we’ll have face painting, a balloon artist and plenty of room to run around in the fresh air. And we’re excited to have three food trucks – Cast Iron, MacDaddy and Mora’s Ice Cream.
Tickets are available on our website – www.HerdItHereFarm.com. $10 for adults, $5 for kids 3 – 8, and no charge for the little ones. We also want to show our support for those who are helping all of us through these difficult times, so educators, first responders, active duty and retired military and front line medical workers are all welcome at no charge!
What do you make with the alpaca fleece?
Alpaca fleece is known as fiber. It’s totally hypoallergenic, it doesn’t itch and it’s very, very soft to the touch. We shear them once a year in the Spring and send the fiber off to be turned into yarn and then into beautiful products. Our Farm Store will also be open and fully stocked with goods made out of alpaca fiber like scarves, hats, gloves, socks and toys. And for the fiber craftspeople, we’ll also be adding yarn to the store a bit later this year.
Outside of your grand opening…can people visit your farm?
We’re so excited to be open to the public for farm tours and other activities. Folks can reserve their visit on our website – www.HerdItHereFarm.com. We’re also planning some special events like goat yoga, movie night with the alpacas under the stars, painting lessons and a Mother’s Day Tea. We’ll be open every weekend until school is out, then we’ll also open up a couple more days during the week.
Are you planning to offer private events?
We’ll open the farm to private groups for reunions, weddings, birthday parties and other occasions. And we’ll also bring some alpacas to weddings and other off-site events.
If people visit outside of your grand opening…can you share other places near you that they should visit while they’re there?
If you’d like to stay outdoors, we’re minutes from the Edisto River, where we love renting rafts from Edisto River Adventures. Just a few miles West of us is the South Carolina Artisans Center in Walterboro. Also, I’d recommend taking a short drive East to Summerville. It’s a lovely town with fantastic local coffee shops, a few breweries, some great little restaurants and a fabulous farmers market. Of course you can head to downtown Charleston to the Children’s Museum, soak up some local history, restaurant hop or just enjoy strolling down historical Market St.