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Alpaca fleece products at Hamilton Farmers Market on Saturdays

Farmers Market in downtown Hamilton, Montana.
Farmers Market in downtown Hamilton, Montana.
Hamilton Farmers Market

Erv and Mo Lischke own and operate Rocking L Alpacas on Red Crow Road south of Victor. They raise alpacas for their fleece using the functional product in numerous ways. The most notable use is to create warm, soft, hypoallergenic clothing and accessories such as sweaters, scarves, hats, socks and gloves.

Alpaca mom Yoshi with baby Mayberry
Merle Ann Loman

Their products can be worn comfortably by most people who cannot wear sheep’s wool because fiber from alpacas lacks the lanolin and guard hairs that are found in conventional wool. Alpaca fleece is lightweight, durable, warmer, and softer than sheep’s wool. Another cool fact; alpaca fleece is fire-retardant.

Rocking L Alpacas products include rugs, felted items, rovings and yarn skeins in a variety of natural and dyed shades. Many of their products are available weekly at their Hamilton Farmers Market Booth (space number 15) on the south side of Bedford Street.

The Lischkes enjoy offering free public tours and especially enjoy showing the farm and animals to children. They encourage youth groups, schools and even Grandparents to call and schedule a visit with their alpacas. The tours provide visitors the opportunity to interact with the alpacas and shop at the ranch’s onsite store.

Coming up on May 31, Rocking L Alpacas is holding an annual Alpaca Shearing Open House. Visitors are invited to participate by skirting (cleaning) or sorting the fleece (fiber); or holding an animal during the shearing. Five guest artisans will be at the farm demonstrating various techniques for working with alpaca fleece. Watch these professionals spin, dye, weave and knit the fleece and Jane Hoefler from Awakenings will be needle felting. This event provides a variety of hands on and educational experiences in the alpaca trade. Refreshments including complimentary hot dogs and hamburgers will be served between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. The Open House begins at 10 a.m. and closes at 4 p.m.

Rocking L Alpacas has been at the current location in the Bitterroot since 2006; the Lischkes have been retailing products since 2008 and have been at the Hamilton Farmer’s Market for 7 years.

News flash: A brand new baby boy alpaca was born in May. Come to the ranch to see Mayberry, son of mama Yoshi and papa Melbourne. Or see photos on their Facebook page “Rocking-L-Alpacas.”

Visit Rocking L Alpacas farm and retail store at 1760 Red Crow Road south of Victor. It is 2.3 miles west of Tucker Crossing and Hwy 93 and on the corner of Bear Creek and Red Crow roads. Call (406) 642-3085 for a tour appointment or more information.

The Hamilton Farmers Market is open from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. from May 3 to mid-October and is located on the second block of Bedford Street and on Second Street. Ample parking is now available in the large lot behind the Safeway store on Highway 93, courtesy of Montana Rail Link. Please use caution when crossing the highway by carrying one of the pedestrian flags available. For more information about the market, call Laura Craig at 961-0004.
Visit Hamilton's Farmers Market on Facebook.

Music at the Market on May 31: Dan Debuque

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