Deep within the rolling hills and open pastures of Wall, New Jersey lies a magical estate–one which brings fluffy creatures straight from the Andes Mountains of South America to our very own Garden State. Since its founding in 2009, Edel Haus Farm has provided a family-friendly space for alpacas to live in and thrive. Cousins of the llama, these adorable animals have seemingly enjoyed their transition into local icons. The farm costs $5 for adults and $2 for children. It’s open to the public every Saturday afternoon. This community staple is an open invitation to a fully functional alpaca farm.
What Even Is An Alpaca?
Alpacas are commonly raised in groups, and Edel Haus Farm’s herd is 28 strong. Originally from the vast mountains of Bolivia, Chile, and Peru, the friendly furballs now find solace in just gently grazing our grasslands. In recent years, Alpaca raising has grown popular in the United States, as the animals are well-regarded for their therapeutic influence and a low-maintenance lifestyle. They don’t require much hands-on care, but of course, appreciate a lot of love and affection to keep them happy. Alpacas also live between 15-25 years long, making them true companions for a long time. Edel Haus Farm embodies this caring ideology, giving its alpacas a spacious home for over a decade.
Alpacas are known to have strong, expressive personalities, something that can be endearing (or off-putting). Prone to spitting when agitated, it’s best to follow the lead of the Edel Haus staff and calmly wait for the animals to approach you. The herd likes to stay close together, but every so often a curious creature will sneak away and make itself prime for petting. Many alpaca farms divide the animals by gender and Edel Haus Farm is no exception. The males tend to be a bit more rambunctious, so if you’re nervous about spitting or flying hooves, the ladies’ pen is your selfie spot.
The Shearing Process
Committed to the wellbeing of their animals, this cruelty-free farm stands out for only utilizing the alpacas to humanely shave their wool. A once-a-year process every May, the shaving of the alpacas brings no harm to the llama-look alike. That wool is shipped a few miles down the road to be meticulously spun into incredible garments, ranging from socks to full-fledged blankets.
Along with this, a recently renovated barn on the property now operates as a gift shop. They sell dozens of wooly products, from stuffed animal alpacas to cozy flap caps. Plentiful and colorful alpaca finger puppets showcase the many beautiful shades of fur that can be spun.
Alpaca fur is actually hypoallergenic, making its many products all the more desirable. Further, the natural fibers of the fur are largely waterproof and snow resistant. Hikers and professional climbers commonly rely on Alpaca products to withstand the elements. Just as cute as they are useful, the practice of raising alpacas has extended all across the globe.
Visting Edel Haus Farm
In addition to its public attractions, the farm operates as the premier destination for private events in Central New Jersey. Its three rustic and refurbished barn houses lend an authentic rural experience for birthday parties, gender reveals, and weddings most weekends. Further, they often hold free events for various community groups that include informative discussions about alpacas and agriculture. Girl Scout groups, rotary clubs, and even high school photography classes have all stopped at the property to greet the playful Alpacas and learn something new.
You can look up their many features on Youtube to see how photogenic their space truly is. As they are planning to soon convert many of its acres into a vast lavender field, the property is only going to grow more picturesque with time. Edel Haus Farm is only a few miles from the Jersey shore, making it the perfect pitstop on your way to the boardwalk.
Have you been to Edel Haus Farm? Let us know in the comments.
Main image by @chris23