When she was just 10 years old, Mary Donaty met her first llama when she visited what was then the Catskill Game Park. Years later, in 1986, Mary Donaty got her first llamas for her farm in Carnation WA, which then took her to Fallbrook CA, and eventually in 1998 on Whidbey Island and began the creation of Paradise Found Fiber Farm which she describes as “A critter haven for fiber animals.”
Alpacas and Pygora goats joined the family in 2004. Today, Paradise Found is a retirement home for 11 llamas, 26 alpacas and 17 Pygora goats, ranging in age from a baby alpaca born in May 2014 to Senior citizen llamas up to 20 years old. Mary says the relationship between the animals and here at Paradise is simple: she gives the animals a home, and they provide her with the fiber she uses to make goods sold at the Fiber Shack, the farm store filled with the many wonderful things made from the animal fiber. She uses the proceeds to buy food for the animals and maintain the farm. These animals are raised for their fiber, not bred for resale.
Most of the animals love getting up close and personal with visitors.
This past year 16 alpaca rescues have joined the farm of all ages. In addition, a little bottle baby called Misty May has become a resident. She was born to a mom that was a rescue that did not survive, but Misty May thinks Mary is her mom and she seems quite happy with the arrangement. Misty May also is more than willing to take milk from a bottle held by a visitor to Paradise Found…if the visitor is there at her mealtimes.
The animals at the farm provide many pounds of lovely fiber annually. The Pygora goats are shorn twice a year by Mary; the alpacas are shorn every year and the llamas are shorn every other year by professional shearers. The animal’s fiber is removed by shearing, and the harvested fiber is sorted at the farm and prepared for the mill. It is then sent to a fiber mill where the final processing is completed. This mill processing washes and picks and cards the raw fiber into a form that is called roving. Roving is a continuous linking of all of the cleaned fibers; this is what spinners use to make yarn.
A visitor to Paradise Found Fiber Farm can receive an educational overview of any of the animals there, and can even adopt an animal for a day.
Paradise Found Fiber Farm is open year round on the weekends; for weekday visits, please call ahead. To learn more about Paradise Found Fiber Farm, visit their website: www.paradisefoundfiber.com or contact Mary at email@example.com or 360-579-1906.