Stay warm this winter with products from Creek Edge Alpacas in Gasport
It’s been 7 years this month since Helen Fink started her new career path with Creek Edge Alpacas.
Fink, who was born and raised in Cattaraugus County, has spent the last 55 years in the Gasport area.
Her husband William Fink owned a greenhouse and flower shop, where they sold many bedding plants. William was the horticulturist and Helen his helper for 45 years.
When he passed away 10 years ago, Helen said she continued to run the greenhouse for a couple seasons but it became too expensive, with the price of natural gas rising.
Helen decided to try something she was more familiar with. She grew up on a berry farm and knew about raising animals and fencing.
“I started with a couple alpacas and wanted to see where it would go from there,” she said.
Currently, Creek Edge Alpaca have 21 alpacas, including Mindy who was born Aug. 17, and a baby male alpaca who was born Oct. 12.
For Helen, over the past seven years, she has enjoyed watching the alpacas grow.
“I like watching the young ones and getting acquainted with each of them,” said Helen. “They are like children, the each have a personality.”
She said some can be overly friendly, others shy, some grumpy and others happy.
Those visiting Creek Edge Alpacas will get the chance to meet and pet the alpacas.
Some of the animals are also for sale.
Helen’s daughter Esther and her husband Frank Nowak also own some of the alpacas on the farm.
The farm features a store with a variety of alpaca products.
Helen said they do carry yarn made from the Creek Edge Alpacas fleece. The fiber is sent to a mill in the Finger Lakes for processing. The yarn comes in natural colors but it can easily be dyed.
The store also carries hats, gloves, mittens, boot inserts, finger puppets, dog pillows, blankets and a variety of socks. The products are made from fleece from both United States and Peruvian raised alpacas.
Helen said the difference between sheep and alpaca wool is there is no lanolin in alpaca wool. The lanolin is what makes the fabric itchy.
Helen said alpaca products make really good gifts and presents during the wintertime. She said the products are very warm, lightweight and airy and are water resistant.
Creek Edge Alpacas, 9011 Ridge Road, Gasport is open from 1 to 5 p.m. Mondays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays. People can also call and make an appointment to visit by calling 735-7500.
For more information visit www.creekedgealpaca.com.
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