Iconoculture: Urban escapists looking for the perfect artisanal farm like the idea of raising animals for fun and profits that don’t involve slaughter.
They’re cute as heck and they can fetch big bucks: One alpaca stud recently sold for over half a million dollars. Small wonder alpaca farming is catching on with rurbanites, who love raising the gentle South American creatures and selling their soft, luxuriant fleece.
Handweavers and knitters pay several dollars an ounce for raw alpaca fiber, which is fine enough for wedding gowns and sturdy enough for rugs. To meet rising demand, more knotted-up city dwellers and retirees are joining the padded-foot stampede. The Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association now boasts 4,188 members, up from 626 in 1994, with many of them clustered in the Pacific Northwest (Seattle Times 4.6.05).
Seen and Herd [Iconoculture]