Grass Hill Alpacas is located on 115 acres that has been in the family for over 125 years. The farm is located at the foot of Grass Hill in the Haydenville section of the town of Williamsburg, just 10 minutes from the center of Northampton. The last time the land was actively farmed was in the 70’s, when the last of Stanley “Stubby” Nash’s oxen were sold. Currently our operations are based on 5 acres of old pasture land that we have reclaimed and fenced in. With more than 40 acres of fields, we have plenty of room for expansion as needed.
We brought our first 6 alpacas onto the farm in the summer of 2006. It has been an exciting, rewarding time for our family and our farm. We have learned alot, had some great experiences and built wonderful new friendships that will last a lifetime. But the best part of it all is that we did it together as a family…side-by-side… working the same land that great-great-grampie worked.
Grass Hill Alpacas is dedicated to the memory of Stanley Nash and his daughter, Alice Nash Welcome.
Stanley lived all of his adult life on Adams Road and, at various times, raised pigs, sheep, dairy cows, draught horses and, of course, the ever-present teams of oxen. He also raised two daughters. His oldest daughter Alice built her own home on Adams Road and, shortly afterward, built a small barn to house her beloved calves and ponies.
We have often wondered how they would have reacted to our decision to bring back the family farm by raising alpacas. Stanley would have shaken his head in bewilderment. “You paid how much for that animal?”
“Can you milk it?”
“How much “wool” do you get each year?”
“How many babies does it have each year?”
The answers wouldn’t make sense to him but, being a man of few words, he would have kept his peace. What he would understand is that we were clearing brush, rebuilding stonewalls, putting up fences, building barns, digging wells….taking care of the land that he loved.
Now Alice, on the other hand, would have no trouble understanding. One look at an alpaca face, with its inquisitive black eyes, and she would have melted. Each and every animal would have had a special place in her heart. She would have approved and supported our dream in any way that she could.
So when it’s hot and we’re dripping with sweat, loading hay or digging out drainage ditches; or our hands are numb with the cold while we shovel the snow away from a gate for the umpteenth time; we see Grampie’s face, hear his laughter, his dry sense of humor, and remember his perseverance and strength. And when we have toenails to trim, poop to shovel, water buckets to fill, hay to feed out, animals to load, breed or maneuver, we remember Alice’s loving chatter to her pony, her cheerful laughter and her ever-present optimism. That is what our farm is all about; Love…for the land, for the animals, for family and for friends.