How and Why Did You
The story picks up at a time when we found ourselves all grown up,
married and the parents of three boys (a fourth has since been added) living
in Virginia on a cul-de-sac. Among the goals we had for our boys were: they
would know what it was like to do hard physical labor on a regular basis and
also what it meant to do something day in and day out regardless of the
weather and regardless of how they felt.
Both of us had the opportunity to grow up around our grandparentsí ranches
and farms in New Mexico. We recognized the wonderful memories we had of
those days as well as the valuable lessons we learned there. We were sorry
that our kids were not getting to experience the responsibilities of caring
for an animal, seeing birth, throwing dirt clods in a freshly tilled field,
playing in the hayloft and looking at the stars, shoveling manure, etc.
There is only so much yard work one can do and it doesnít take long to feed
and water the family dog.
That is where llamas came into our lives...it all started as a field trip
which became a 4-H club and then, much to our surprise, we were in love. We
felt that we had found a match for the goals for our family. So we, along
with our two oldest, sons pooled our savings and bought our first llamas!
We made an agreement that any profits we saw from the sell of the animals
would go back to the boys for their education. Thus Cornerstone Llamas was
born although we didnít yet have the farm.
We spent the next year looking for a place and getting our house ready to
sell. We did find a 25 acre piece of land in the foothills of the Blue
Ridge Mountains in central Virginia. This became our new home where our
llamas could be with us. Our original herd of seven now hovers around 35.
But why llamas? For one, we just like them, but we also found them to be
easier to handle and more affordable than other large livestock. Llamas are
beautiful, smart and have lots of personality.
We also keep a small herd of Nigerian Dwarf goats, have 60 egg-laying hens,
a flock of guineas, three cats and two dogs. Once a year we raise hogs -
one for our freezer and several others to sell. Then three times a year we
raise and process organic meat chickens, again for our freezer and to sell.
Larry continues his "day" job as a family/individual counseling therapist
under the umbrella of Christian Family Life. Norma holds down the fort at
home while home-schooling Stephen, 17 and Nathaniel, 11. Jonathan, 25 and
Andrew, 24 are here off and on as they have begun their college educations.
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Visitors always welcome - Contact us for directions
Email: SidesFamily [at] CornerstoneLlamas [dot] com
Phone: (540) 672-6343