Thursday, August 2, 2012

YB Normal Alpaca Store and Farm

Monday afternoon, after visiting my friend Chimene's beautiful homestead, we headed over to visit her friend and fellow homesteader Evelyn Brumwell.

Evelyn purchased the Amish home and out buildings nearly three years ago. Now it is the YB Normal Alpaca Farm & Store. She has a little over fifty animals, a beautiful shop, a seasonal market stall, and a newly formed CSA.

The store has yarn, carded and dyed fibers for felting, sweaters, gloves, scarves, hats, socks, toys, soaps, honey and so many other delightful items.
Evelyn shares, "I have spun yarn for 3 years now and absolutely love to spin the Suri alpaca right from my animals. After shearing I choose a fleece that has extremely high luster and give it a bath in shampoo. 

Lavender shampoo is my favorite. I dry the fleece and then hand paint the locks with acid dyes that I order. I tried natural dyes but found them too labor intensive. 

After the fleece is dyed and dried, I either hand card the locks of Suri alpaca or just spin right from the uncarded fiber. I enjoy pairing the colors that my remind me of something from nature or around me. The hand carded rovings here are called “Little Chautauqua Creek” A beautiful stream where the water tumbles over colorful rocks and I often see fly fishermen casting their lines. This is 100% Suri Alpaca Yarn that was hand dyed, carded and hand spun by me. "
Alpacas come in over twenty-three colors and patterns. Their hair is prized for its softness and is four times warmer than wool. They are related to camels, being members of the camelid family. Mild-tempered, inquisitive, intellengent, clean, and gentle. They only spit, buck or kick when they feel they must, not for spite, but only when startled or threatened. Especially if they fear for their cria, their babies.
Evelyn has two types of alpaca on her farm, Huacaya and Suri. Huacaya are the most common breed. Like teddy bears, their hair forms a dense ball of fiber that makes the alpaca look big and fluffy. The fiber has a crimp and it is usually fine and bright. Huacaya fiber creates beautiful soft warm garments like sweaters, throws, hats and gloves.
Suri fiber is different and very rare, making up only one to two percent of the world’s alpacas. Their hair hangs from their body in locks that can be twisted, wavy, curly or flat and are lustrous.

Her store is open Sunday through Friday from 10 am to dusk  at 5782 Stockton Hartfield Road in Dewittville, NY.  

It is best to call ahead if coming, especially in groups greater than five. If you would like a tour please call at least one week in advance and bring cash for the tour fee. You can reach Evelyn at 716-450-7459 for more information.


  1. Loved the article about Evelyn Brumwell and her YBNormal Farm - she is a dear friend. I just spent several days with her, sitting on the back porch listening to the sounds of the alpachas settling in for the night. Ate great food from her garden - took some home, of course. Stop in & visit her store.

    1. Thank you! She was very sweet to let me and my girls wander pell mell all over her pastures. I really look forward to going back!

  2. I have had the pleasure of working on her farm for about a year now. Never have I met such an inspirational person. Everyday I learn from her and her beautiful animals. She has a soul that is a rare gem. Every day is a struggle because she is caring for over 50 animals (over fifty alpacas, two cats, a dog, and 26 chickens!), many beautiful and fruitful gardens, and converting a once Amish homestead ALL BY HERSELF! On top of providing food for the CSA, and working at her other store located in The Crossroads. I urge any local interested in farming or owning alpacas to stop by and volunteer their time, because not only will it be one of the most rewarding experiences, but you will gain a very valuable friend.
    Times are tight, the land is dry, and a once thriving alpaca market is now nearly non existent. Her struggles are enough to break anyone's spirit....anyone's but hers. She fights the good fight, and she does it not only for her animals, but for the people of her community. I'll say it again, it is an honor to know this woman. Please help her help others.

  3. Dear Anonymous, you have really described Evelyn to the "T". She is one of the dearest, warm people I have ever met and I agree that it is an honor to know her. She makes everyone feel at home when you visit and she always has a smile not only on her face, but in her eyes, when she greets you. She has an infectious laugh that warms your heart. Any assistance from volunteers would be greatly appreciated by her and her brood of animals.