Memorial Day Weekend out on the Mountain Loop Highway marks the official start to camping season. This is the weekend where we see a definite uptick in the traffic on this rural road as tourists, hikers, and campers flock to the outdoors to see the wonders of nature or explore a bit of gold rush history.
Here at Paca Pride we are in Spring mode as we prepare for new additions to the ranch for our guests. Already, our outdoor kitchen is well underway to being completed. This will supply the next bit of functionality and services for our guests staying at the ranch. We’ve got the space covered with a roof and the plumbing is almost done. Next up, we search for a stove that we can hookup to the propane making a convenient space for our campground guests to prepare their meals. When does a kitchen become an educational opportunity? Well, here at the homestead we take awareness of our carbon footprint to the next stage. So, guests will learn how to separate their trash and become part of the recycling link for scrap food: from slop bucket to compost bin to garden!
Once we finish with some of the remaining development projects, we’ll begin to turn our sights towards some further marketing efforts. Hopefully this will translate into a roadside sign that announces to the passerby traffic that we are here…Hello, world! Up until this point, we’ve been relying a great deal on website traffic, blog readers, and a small sandwich board at our entrance which currently touts, “Hikers Need Good Socks, Discover Alpaca!” That and our “Fresh Eggs” sign tends to draw up the curious who slow down enough. But, we need to put up something larger, and viewable from a further distance, that spells out our services and accommodations a bit better.
In the meantime, Spring also means brooding baby chickens, baby turkeys, and a couple baby ducklings (because they were too cute to refuse!) We have 29 of them brooding in the chicken tractor. Our bottomless contraption, made from recycled and salvaged materials, we drag it behind where the herd was grazing and right over the llama poop piles. The chickens then act like a tractor and rake out the poop while eating the bugs and weed seeds. This little activity saves us from having to fertilize our pastures.
Spring also marks the return of plenty of Robins to the area along with our developing colony of barn swallows that have claimed Paca Pride their home. We have white breasted barn swallows that make their nests up at the house and we have yellow breasted ones that own the barn. They always come out and swoop around us when we go outside chirping away as we rustle the bugs up for them. One little Robin decided to take their cue and has built here nest at one corner of the house overlooking the garden. At the end of the season, we can take the nest down, but for now we’ll see if she peacefully raises her young hatchlings over the course of the summer.