With summer giving way to autumn, this week’s adventure took us out to the Eastern Plains for the annual farm festival in Byers, Colorado. Hosted at May Farms, this event showcases a variety of farms, ranches and businesses that call the local area home. Since it’s National Alpaca Farm Days, we were especially excited to get to learn more about these gentle creatures. Sandra Johnson, owner of Chimera Ranch, introduced us to Garnet and her 10-day-old baby boy named Jasper. We were able to see how they communicate through humming. The mother will begin humming while pregnant to begin imprinting her voice with her baby. Once born, the baby is able to find and identify the mother because of this unique call. Standing only about 3 feet at the shoulder, alpacas are a lot smaller than their cousin the llama. Their diminutive size and quiet disposition make them ideal for shearing. The fibers are turned into yarn that can be used to produce clothing, such as hats, scarves and sweaters. And there were vendors on hand selling a variety of wares.Also present at the event was Hog Haven Farm. This unique organization rescues potbellied pigs from abuse, neglect and abandonment. It was surprising to hear that these cute little pigs are often rescued after they’re listed on Craigslist as for sale for meat. Hog Haven not only adopts pigs out to loving homes, but they also train them to be therapy animals. You can find their pigs involved with outreach across the Denver Metro area. With others on site from the Great Escape Mustang Sanctuary, Longhopes Donkey Rescue and Adam’s Warrior Buddy, there were plenty of opportunities to learn how folks in our state are taking care of animals and using them to make a difference. I’m looking forward to learning more about these exciting organizations.
True to any harvest festival, there was also a corn maze, pumpkin patch and a barrel train for the kids. The Caramel Apple Farm had a variety of goat milk products for sale, including pumpkin spice lotion that smelled delicious! And there was food and beverages for sale.
There’s still time to make it out to Byers to enjoy the festival. They’ll be open 10 am to 4 pm on Sunday, September 25th. Admissions is free, but there’s a minimal fee for the corn maze. They’ll also be hosting Harvest Fest every weekend in October, featuring even more Autumn fun! For more information check out their website, mayfarms.com.