Pikes Peak Alpacas & Tree Farm
 

History of Pikes Peak Alpacas and Tree Farm, LLC.


     Hello, we're Chuck and Linda Staley. After proudly serving 20 years in the U. S. Air Force, we decided to set up some roots (excuse the pun) in the Colorado Springs, Colorado area. We wanted to adopt a more rural lifestyle and began looking for property in the Black Forest northeast of the Springs. My wife had already convinced me while we were stationed in California that we should start a Christmas Tree farm when we retired. After some searching, we were fortunate in finding the beautiful 20-acre lot overlooking Pikes Peak that we now call home. (See map for directions to our farm.)

     We joined the Rocky Mountain Christmas Tree Association and armed with the advice of several of the other growers in the area began planting our first Christmas trees in 1987. Linda opted to become a school bus driver so she could have the summers and Christmas break off while I took a job as a contractor supporting numerous tasks at local Air Force installations. We soon found out that growing Christmas trees is a lot more work here in Colorado than it appeared to be in California. In 1997, we began selling Christmas trees as a "Choose and Harvest" operation. People can come out, wander through our mini-forest of 6,500 Scotch pine, choose and harvest their "perfect" tree. (We can provide saws if they forget to bring one.) We also sell beautiful hand-made natural wreaths. For more information please visit our Merry Christmas Tree Farm page.

     In 1996, we tried an experiment we had read about in one of the national Christmas tree magazines -- using sheep to mow the grass in the rows and around the trees. We contacted a local farm and discussed our ideas with the owner. He was glad to bring up some sheep for the extra pasture, but wouldn't do so without bringing up a guard llama, too. The sheep really ate up the grass, but they also trimmed up our trees, too. Thus ended the experiment. Although we were enthused about the demeanor and bearing of the llama, we couldn't justify owning one as a pet.

     In the fall, my wife showed me an article about alpacas in the local newspaper. Although somewhat expensive, their investment potential looking very promising and besides, they were as cute as a bug in a rug. Before we knew it, we were off every weekend exploring nearby farms finding out as much as we could about these wonderful animals. They are primarily used for their fiber which is among the finest and most exotic in the world. Before the end of 1996, we were the proud and enthusiastic owners of four pregnant females. Currently, our herd is 30+ strong and we are involved in raising and selling breeding stock and fiber males as well as fleeces, roving and yarns. For more information please visit our Pikes Peak Alpacas page.