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NORTH SMITHFIELD â€” If you happen to be walking down Grange Road and hear a gentle humming, don't be alarmed. Its just the alpacas.
The Pasquariello family, owners of Mamalu Farm, have just welcomed the arrival of two alpacas to their newly formed alpaca farm on Grange Road.
The familyâ€™s primary goal is to raise, breed, and sell alpaca products. They are also interested in providing animal assisted therapy and donating a portion of the proceeds from the sale of their products to charity.
Individuals vary, but most alpacas generally make a humming sound. Hums are often comfort noises, letting the other alpacas know they are present and content. The humming can take on many inflections and meanings.
With the creation of Mamalu Farm, Rhode Island is now home to at least 10 alpaca farms (in Burrillville, Portsmouth, Ashaway, Greene, Fiskeville, Foster, North Scituate, Exeter, West Kingston and Coventry), according to AlpacaNation.com, a website designed to encourage growth and sustainability by bringing the global community of alpaca breeders, owners, and suppliers into a centralized marketplace.
Alpacas, which are a little smaller than but related to llamas, are native to the Andes region of South America.
Alpacas are known as â€śgreenâ€ť livestock because they graze primarily on small areas of the land without ruining grass and therefore are gentle to the land. An alpaca can yield between three and five pounds of fiber, which is graded before it is processed and spun into yarn used to make products including socks, sweaters, and blankets.
According to Sherry and Mark Pasquariello, principal owners of the Mamalu Farm, their inspiration for the farm came from their three children, Mark, Matthew and Luke.
â€śThe farm is named after the boys and they are truly the driving force behind this project,â€ť says Mark. â€śOur goal is to educate people about alpacas and to provide tangible products that people can enjoy.â€ť
Alpaca fur is hypoallergenic and is similar to sheepâ€™s wool, but it is warmer and is not prickly.
â€śThe alpaca fur is soft and luxurious and some of the items we hope to produce locally include hats, gloves, scarves, blankets, yarn, socks and sweaters,â€ť says Sherry.
Because all three of their boys play hockey, the Pasquarielloâ€™s plan to stock their products at Mannyâ€™s Hockey Shop locations around the state. They also plan to sell their products at Primrose Valley Gardens as well as craft fairs, festivals and online.
For more information about Mamalu Farms, visit their website which is coming soon to www.mamalufarm.com or contact the farm at 401-301-4995.