One of the things we love about York Durham Headwaters is how wonderfully rural it is. This is farm-fresh country, an oasis of pastures and produce and bounties of the harvest. But at the same time, all that wide-open space and fresh, country air is accessible to our urban centres, being so close. We love telling you about our wonderful YDH farms and the passionate people who make them possible. But that’s not the whole story: we’ve got some pretty amazing people of the non-human variety that call rural YDH their home as well. Welcome to our Meet the Animals of YDH series.
Today, we’d like to introduce you to Ginger. She is of the young alpacas at Forget-Me-Not Alpacas in Beaverton, owned and operated by Sandra and Geoff Bannon. Ginger has a special job on the farm, and here she in, in her own words (which we’ve been kind enough to translate from Alpacish for you) to tell you all about what that special job is.
YDH: What is your job at Forget-Me-Not Alpacas?
Ginger: Oh, I have the best job on the farm! You see, Forget-Me-Not Alpacas is famous for its unique photo sessions, where people come from far and wide to get their pictures professionally taken with an alpaca. Well, believe it or not, I am that alpaca. I like to think of my job title as Director of Adorableness.
YDH: What are the main responsibilities of the Director of Adorableness?
Ginger: As Director of Adorableness, it is my job to look beautiful, behave perfectly, and make people feel all warm and fuzzy inside so that they go home with some wonderful pictures that they can look at to remember the fun time they had on our farm. Being adorable is easier said than done, though. But I am lucky because my mom, Gypsy, and my dad, Shayde, made me really pretty (or so I’ve been told). And I am also lucky that being so sweet comes naturally to me. I love to love, and Farmer Sandra says I am a gentle soul.
YDH: What is your favourite part of your job?
Ginger: I get lots of attention when it’s time for a photo shoot. The people who come to visit us, they smile so much. That makes my heart happy, which makes them happy, which means they give me lots of pets on my soft fur… which makes me even happier. Meeting the people who come to see us is so much fun that my job doesn’t even feel like work.
YDH: What are your favourite snacks?
Ginger: That one’s easy: sweet feed! That’s a mixture of our food and yummy, sweet molasses. It’s a real treat for all us alpacas. When it’s time for a photo shoot, I get a little extra sweet feed because I’m working, and it lets me know what I need to do and where I need to go. When I stand just right or move somewhere they want me to move, they give me sweet feed so I know that I did well.
YDH: What are some of the things you like to do around the farm?
Ginger: Because I work on the photo shoots, I need to practice on my lead. So, Farmer Sandra and Farmer Geoff take me on walks around the pastures with my halter so that I can work on being perfect. Sometimes they even take me on farther walks. It’s so nice to get out into the fresh air, just me and my farmers. Here at Forget-Me-Not, we are right on the edge of the Ganaraska Forest, so the scenery is lovely.
YDH: Who are some of your friends on the farm?
Ginger: My mom is my best friend. Right now, she is looking after my little brother, Gryphon, who is still a baby. So, she can’t hang out with me for the next little while. Also, the dogs on the farm are my friends because they look after us really well. They frighten us a little bit during the day—especially the mom alpacas that have babies. But they’re just doing their job, which is to patrol and make sure that no wild animals get too close to us. Then there are Farmer Sandra and Farmer Geoff. They take such good care of us, too. Their whole job is to look after us and keep us happy and warm and fed. That’s pretty special.
YDH: Is there anything you are excited about for in the future?
Ginger: I can’t wait until Gryphon is big enough that he doesn’t need Mom to look after him so much. When that happens, Mom and I will get to be together again. I miss her, and sometimes I feel a little lost amongst the bigger girls (especially at meal times when they’re all pushing and jostling each other for pellets and hay). But in only a couple of months, Gryphon will be grown enough to be on his own. I can’t wait. For now, I am happy with the extra attention that my farmers give me to make me feel special, and I am happy to be doing photo shoots as the Director of Adorableness because of all the lovely people I get to make memories with.
We at YDH also talked to Gryphon the alpaca. Click here to see what he said about his sweet big sister, Ginger
Visit the Bannons and their sweet alpacas at 1595 Concession 3 in Beaverton. For information, go to www.forgetmenotalpacas.ca, or call (289) 221-6102
Story by Katherine Ryalen