b'NEIGHBORSTake a tour ofFIRWOOD FARM FIFES ALPACA REFUGEB rody is always asking for food. Sonny is the shy one. Oliver is always in your face. Prince Hairy needed a serious trim upon his arrival. Luca and Polo were the two lost boys found wandering the streets. One had a rope attached to its neck.A bright pink spreadsheet hangs on the wall of the retail store at Firwood Farm Alpacas, a refuge for alpacas that have been abandoned, rescued or are in need of a new home for any number of circumstances. The sheet tracks more than 50 alpacas that have come and gone from Firwood Farm in Fife. Owner Leanna Stidham, who operates the farm with husband Greg, first came to alpacas as a hobbyist. In 2006, she was newly retired from an administrative job with theFIRWOOD FARM ALPACASPuyallup Police Department and looking for a hobby at the urging of her doctor. She was flipping through a magazineWhere: 8002 48th St. E., Fifeand spotted an article about alpacas and something about theContact: FirwoodFarmAlpacas.com oranimals resonated with her.info@FirwoodFarmAlpacas.comMy mom taught me to crochet and knit, so I thought, ohHours: Open Noon to 4 p.m. Fridays andmy gosh, with all that yarn, imagine what I could do. NowSaturdays and by appointment anyone can see the result of her knitting in the retail shop at the farm. Stidham is known for her knitted hats. Her mothersAlpaca Yoga: An occasional Yoga with Alpacasfarm is just down the road and those who drive by will seeprogram operates at the farm. Contact thealpacas grazing at that farm, as well as Stidhams land offfarm for details.Freeman Road East. That location is Firwood Farm and is open to the public Fridays and Saturdays. Animal rearing is not new to her. She grew up on a farm. She had one rule when she decided to return to raisingcrash. At that time, Stidham was a few years into raising a animals as an adultshed only raise animals that dont windsmall alpaca herd. She knew she had the space and she saw a up on the dinner table.rapidly growing number of abandoned alpacas, so she opened Stidham currently keeps about 27 alpacas on her land. Sheup her farm. could have moremany moreif she werent limited byShe connected with Shari Bond of Teninos Cross Creek space and resources. Last year, she turned down 40 alpacaAlpaca Rescue, a rescue operation known nationwide. placements. So far this year, shes turned down 30. AlpacasBond has placed several alpacas with Stidham. Some wind once were highly valuable animals, but that changed duringup in the care of Bond and Stidham following an abuse the economic downturn in 2008.investigation by law enforcement, others come to them after They lost their value fast, explained Stidham, whobeing recovered following an abandonment. Sometimes the was shocked to see alpacas go from fetching $10,000 for aalpacas are surrendered by people who had good intentions, breeding female to selling for $25 at public auctions after thebut couldnt afford to feed or care for the animals.14 |FifeMagazine | Fall/Winter 2019'