Thursday, February 7, 2008

Saving the planet for the fun of it

The White Violet Center for Eco-Justice, tucked away on the expansive campus of St Mary of the Woods University, has a program, for a mere $100, you can sponsor the care and feeding of a newborn Alpaca for a year.

The Alpcacas are born, kept with their mothers and live together in a roomy barn, complete with a vet clinic built into the barn, so they can be cared for without being moved. They have a roomy pasture, so they can play.

Once they mature, they are sheared, and the nuns make clothing out of the wool, which can be purchased in their gift shop, just a few hundred feet away from the barn. Their nutrient dense manure, which did appear to be plentiful, is used in the greenhouse, which is also a few hundred feet away from the barn.

The whole operation is self sufficient, except Alpacas like to eat a lot of hay and alfalfa ( and occasionally, oats, as a treat). So, your $100 sponsorship goes a long way in helping feed these friendly, curious, wide eyed creatures.

The best part is, with your sponsorship, you get to visit that pasture. Yesterday, I took the 90 minute drive to go visit Juniper, my adopted Alpaca. Still a baby, Juniper was both curious and hesitant. He liked the petting, but didn't really want to admit it. Georgiana, his mom, was unashamed of her fondness for human interaction. She was not only approachable, but would approach you.

In my hurry to get down to the pasture (the nuns are available to let you into the barn Mon thru Fri 8am to 4:30), I neglected to bring the camera, but will get there again soon and publish a Juniper slideshow.

If you want to help out, here is the website.

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