Monday 1 November 2010

Small is beautiful.

Like a toddler sucking a piece of spaghetti...
Bramley persists in eating leaves and stems all the way...
Going, going...
Almost gone...

While we search for more grazing, I content myself with the advantage of a small-holding of knowing every square inch of our land and being able to check it for hazards and grass condition daily.

Faecal testing is progressing with comforting results - with hand-clearing latrines I think I can clear 95%, and I'd be interested to know whether 'poovers' can achieve the same level of clearing (poo-pickers elbow excepted).

There is a Eucalyptas tree adjacent to our alpaca shelter, and the girls love the leaves - it's not on the hazardous plant list, and knowing the medicinal qualities of Eucalyptus for humans, I'm assuming the alpacas recognize it too.

Of course, while I comfort myself with the Small is Beautiful mantra, and its benefits, really I'd love to be expanding the herd more quickly, but for now I'll content myself with the intimacy of our small, but beautifully formed (in my opinion) herd.


  1. Yes there is a lot to be said for keeping things small Dave...hand cleaning latrines being one of them...bit more difficult over a large acreage...I think I can at least match that figure thou!:))

    Bramley is looking gorgeous and obviously very special within your lovely small and hand picked herd.

  2. Small is beautiful.....and less of the hard work !! enjoy your small but beautifully formed herd !!..Bramley is growing up into a beautiful....little nibbler...!! nice photos.....Jayne

  3. We can testify to the (dis)advantages of poo-picker's elbow as we don't have a 'poover' just the good old barrow and paddock rake and shovel. We did look at them but they all seemed pretty expensive for the job we wanted doing. The amount of dung from 8 boys is amazing however, so I guess a poover is an advantage with bigger herds. Mrs Smallholder will no doubt be pleased with their 'efforts' being spread on the garden! Take care. Shirley & Robbie

  4. Is it just comfort that the Small is Beautiful mantra offers? You'll be glad to hear that Schumacher, when he wrote Small is Beautiful, was really saying that we need to consider appropriate size rather than go for all small or all big. So I guess the question for you is what is the appropriate size of your alpaca herd?

  5. She's lovely. Our two crias do the same - long stalks of whatever they can reach. They are such nibblers.

  6. Small is indeed beautiful, as is Bramley and remember you don't have to be big to be mighty either!

  7. Nicola, good point - I still have my copy of the book on our bookshelf, and it's moved house with us four times since I bought it, now slightly brown, but it's always one I intend to read again when I take a holiday.