Alpaca Farming without Electricity

The “derecho”  that swept across much of the country last Friday night hit our farm.  We luckily did not suffer any damage on the farm from the storm, but it was an incredibly strong wind.  It began with an eerie stillness and loud roar in the distance, followed by a fast moving, intense wind.  We lost power that night, which on the farm also means our water pumps went out, and we have been learning how to keep a farm running with no electricity or running water since then.

Filling water buckets from the spring.

Last weekend, we had one of our weaving on the triangle loom classes.  We had had a lovely start on Friday evening, and luckily everyone was safely home when the storm hit.  Saturday and Sunday were a bit more challenging, but everyone was very understanding about the power and water situation.  We got through just fine, enjoying the weaving and the wonderful food that Linda is famous for providing during classes.  The addition of a quickly purchased generator to keep the refrigerator and air conditioning running, helped make it a pleasant weekend, despite our higher than normal temperatures.

Carrying water from the spring house, while Milton, Lightning and Sunspot look on.

Day to day, we have felt very blessed to have a spring that has allowed us to keep the alpacas supplied with cool water.  David has been doing the bulk of the work getting the water from the spring and loaded into our truck to haul around the farm.  All the alpacas appreciate the regular water deliveries, though Ruthie has been disappointed that we are not allowing her to wash her feet in the buckets like she enjoys.  We’ve tried to explain that as long as it has to be carried up to the pastures, water is only for drinking.

Loading the truck for his twice daily rounds.

David has been keeping the family supplied with water for toilets and bathing, but we will all be thrilled to have our running water back as well as electricity for ceiling fans and lights in the store.  We appreciate everyone’s patience who’s visited the store this week.  We are open, and are even able to accept credit cards using our “slider”.

They are estimating that Carroll County should get electricity back on by Friday night, though we are hoping for sooner as the power company is working hard and has gotten electricity on for much our the area.  Farming without electricity and running water has been a bit of a challenge, and an inconvenience that we’d rather not repeat.  It has made us truly appreciate the conveniences we have and the planning of the original owners of the farm to enclose our wonderful spring back when hauling water was a daily routine.

Update:  Our power was restored late Thursday afternoon.  It is wonderful to have running water again.

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