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Rolling Oaks to host Alpaca open house

The 5th annual Alpacas of Minnesota Farm Tour will be held Sept. 27-28, with many members of Alpacas of Minnesota opening their doors to the public. The Rolling Oaks Farm, near Hawley, is one of those alpaca farms.

Alpacas are members of the Camelid family along with llamas and camels. They're very gentle creatures with a wonderful disposition. They're approximately a third the size of a llama and produce one of the most luxurious and strongest fibers in the world.

Their cashmere-like fleece is 5-7 times warmer than wool and does not contain any lanolin. For people who have sensitive skin, allergies or cannot wear wool because it's too itchy, alpaca fiber is the perfect alternative. Alpacas are unique fiber animals with 22 different natural colors and variations.

Participating farms throughout Minnesota are listed at Events at individual farms will vary. Activities may include educational sessions, children's activities or fiber related demos such as spinning, weaving or knitting. Many farms will be selling alpaca related products.

There's something for everyone in the family -- raw fiber (used in fly tying), roving, yarn (hand or machine spun) and garments made from alpaca fibers may be available. Many farms will have the renowned alpaca teddy bears available for purchase.