Thursday, 29 January 2015

Romantic Bedding....Would you like a tiny sample?




Valentines Day is just around the corner and I've noticed a spike in demand for one of my products on the website: the alpaca bedding is flying out the door.... whooooosh!



In particular the alpaca pillows are the most popular with customers choosing to change from standard pillows (filled with feather or synthetics) to luxury alpaca fleece. Turns out there are a range of reasons: Many customers are telling me that they are beginning to have issues with allergies or sore throats in the mornings and are changing to alpaca fibre products due to a friend's recommendation.

I confess I was a tadge skeptical about the hypoallergenic qualities of alpaca fleece so I decided to carry out my very own tip-top scientific experiment to test the theory. First I hunted down three itchy, scratch, allergic-type people.... one a lovely builder, one a gorgeous farmer, one a wonderful (though sneezy) sister. I forced them to place raw (unwashed) alpaca fleece next to their skin to see what would occur....[Evil me!] Boringly nothing happened; no spots, sneezing or itching took place. All were gob-smacked. All are converts. I am convinced.


If you feel you'd like to put the allergy theory to the test contact me at aathelarches@gmail.com and I'll send you a tiny sample of alpaca fleece that you can keep close to your skin. Maybe an alpaca pillow would suit you or another family member. It's certainly a gorgeous Valentine gift for a loved one.



Other customers are telling me that they are changing to alpaca just for the luxury. Even my 10yo sleeps better with his alpaca pillows because they are firm yet so, so soft.

Happy sleeping.....





Monday, 26 January 2015

Learning to blog again.....





If you don't use it, you lose it.....and it is with these words ringing in my head that I will now attempt to blog a post or is it post a blog?

It's not that I haven't anything to say, anyone who knows me is patently aware that I can't shuddup! No, it's time; it keeps escaping me. In the early days of this blog, when I managed to write quite often I was busy too but it was a different kind of busy. I mended fences, painted walls, created gardens, pruned jungle..... if I didn't do these jobs, no one died, no one really suffered, lives were not desperately affected. Sure, there were a few well-loved chickens pottering around the property that I cared for, a couple of rat-catching cats and two lovely sproglets I was obliged to feed and clothe (kids not cats), but now there are many more mouths to feed: Pregnant ewes and alpaca insist on love, attention and a good feed at least daily. They look at me reproachfully if I'm late and I put myself under pressure daily, trying to keep up with PB of twice daily poo picking! (Sad.)



Spring 2014

2015 should be good for increasing my workload. Our ewes have all been scanned and all are carrying lambs; most are carrying twins, though there are a few triplets on first-time mums so I'm a little nervous for them about that. They are all healthy and so far we have had minimal poor weather with odd days of snow (I may regret that statement,) and the girls are therefore all fit and well. We're also hoping the alpaca have gorgeous cria in late summer.



Fitbit Flex

I recently gained a Fitbit thanks to a change of phone. The Carphone Warehouse in Malvern couldn't have been kinder btw and this free technological bracelet came as part of the package. It's amazing to track your life while merely wearing a bangle (and without committing a crime) the thing interacts with the computer and tells me the steps I've taken during the day (generally 10,000+) how much undisturbed sleep I've had (not enough!) and whether my BMI is any good (not so much!) It tells me that I tend to fall asleep within 6 minutes of hitting the pillow, a record I'm rather proud of, though hubby's less keen if I conk out before him, then snore. #sorryhubby. Anyhoo, I think the 6 mins illustrates that I've generally had a busy day.

My website is doing well with plants, alpaca bedding, knitware and more all selling well. Sales of Lou's Poo, Dried Alpaca Manure exceeded all expectation this Christmas. Merry Chrimbo to you if you got a bag this Chrimbo.

If you'd like an idea on how to use the product, look no further. I've just started sowing seed for this year's flower display and have sown trays of dahlia seed (as I'm too mean to buy or overwinter the corms and I love the fact that I can get many more plants flowering by using seed.)  Dahlia are hungry critters so as soon as I'm ready to pot them into their final containers - probably June, I'll pop in a good handful of Lou's Poo Dried Alpaca Manure to their planting hole, and this will help keep them fed for the season. If they flower well I'll also treat them to a Lou's Poo Tea! Deeeee-lish.

2014 Toms


If you'd like to purchase some Lou's Poo either use the website or toddle off to your nearest retailer. (More retailers joining the throng next month):


BTW If you think you know of a retailer near you who'd like to sell Lou's Poo! Let me know and I'll ask them nicely. Ta.

Monday, 6 October 2014

Garden Planning - Sweet Pea




Sweet Pea, an essential part of my garden year. Even sowing them is an act of optimism, being as I place the gorgeous satisfying pea seeds into a pot now, in Autumn, to be planted out in early spring. 

Here's my 'How To Guide'. You will need the following:
  1. Sweet Pea Seed
  2. Good sized pots
  3. Compost (maybe some added nutrition from Lou's Poo, Dried Alpaca Manure
  4. Toilet Roll insides
  5. Plant Markers
  6. Water


Choose your seed. Personally I save mine from the best of my plants.

Gather good sized pots and half fill with compost. At this stage I add a small handful of Lou's Poo, Dried Alpaca Manure as my seedlings will be in these pots for at least 4 months. Remember alpaca manure is not a hot manure, it's gentle and won't damage the seedlings, plus it will take a while for their little roots to penetrate to this layer.

Next add your toilet roll insides and fill these with compost.


Choose your seed, I like to grow the same colour in one pot and another colour in another pot.

I generally only add a few seeds per roll.

Label each toilet roll. This seems extreme but in the spring, when you gently separate these rolls into their own good-sized plant pot, you'll be glad they are already labelled.

Water well and place in a sheltered area. Personally I don't put them in the greenhouse, I treat them as meanly as I can, though I do afford them the shelter of the walled garden. They need protection from slugs and snails and if there was a sustained frost I might cover them but otherwise don't molly-coddle them.

As soon as the seedlings get to be about 4" tall I pinch them out, nipping off any extra growth. I do this every so often, till early spring, I pinch them out again and again, letting them grow just a little bigger each time, to ensure strong, bushy plants rather than tall, sickly ones.

Go on, sow some sweet pea now, you'll be so glad you did next summer.

Lou
xx

Thursday, 18 September 2014

A Gentle Autumn....

The 11yo and Fudge, one of the baby alpaca, really do love each other. While I'm busy with hay or food troughs or poo picking, they frolic, snuggle, chill. Occasionally, Sproglet1 will bring her iPod into a paddock, sit on the bank and play, keeping me company. Fudge, who is not too keen on Minecraft, is content to sit beside the girl resting a Thompson Twins hair-styled head on Sproglet's lap. They are an item.
See? Almost no difference.....
Thompson Twins

Last night was a particularly lovely evening, though overcast, it was warm and dry and, having harvested the last of the pumpkins..... and a black cat for luck! [Honest, the 11yo and I are not witches!] we set off to see to the alpaca. Sproglet2 couldn't help as he was detained by Anthony Horowitz!




The alpaca girls were in a particularly social mood so we chatted about what was on telly last night....


Discussed the latest fashions (in welly boots)


..... and then had a snog..


and something to eat. Ouch!


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Snowy and Moon