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A chance to 'learn llama'

Teri Conroy and her llamas will be at Faddegon's Nursery in Latham on Saturday, Oct. 13. The public is welcome to take walks with the llamas.

Teri Conroy and her llamas will be at Faddegon's Nursery in Latham on Saturday, Oct. 13. The public is welcome to take walks with the llamas.

Of course, that's kind of fitting at a place with such a storybook name. Conroy said she wanted to go with the straightforward "Once Upon a Farm," but her husband didn't like it. So she turned over ways to phoenetically spell it. When she pitched "Wunsapana Farm," he liked it a lot.

It's funny, though. Adults don't often get it, she said. It's the younger set who immediately realizes the intended pronunciation.

Conroy entertains all ages at the farm. She said people like how big and beautiful the llamas are, as well as how gentle they are despite their size.

“They don’t spook like horses,” she said. “You can put them and they act calm. People are just comfortable.”

She has regular visits from Living Resources, which provides services to people with developmental disabilities. It gives the patients a chance to get out, helping with cleaning and grooming the llamas. Conroy frequently hosts people with special needs. She does these things free of charge, knowing times are tight and visits to llama farms aren't likely a part of most budgets.

She does bring in some money with her adult llama walks, asking for a $5 donation. The walks have proved so popular that Conroy doesn't go to great lengths to advertise that she's having one. She simply puts out a note on her Facebook page, and the 10 or so spots quickly fill.

The walks are held on her property, with participants guiding the llamas along trails on the farm's 30 acres. It's kind of like walking a dog, Conroy said, just striding together. It's a peaceful experience, one that resonates people who want to exercise, people who want a unique experience, people who enjoy the chance to bond with the animals.

Another avenue Conroy has developed to make some money is to sell the llamas' poop as fertilizer. In fact, that's how she hooked up with Faddegon's. Llama manure has "that little extra something" that really gives gardens a boost, she said. She has been sharing the "llama beans" with Guilderland Community Gardens for a few years, and "they just went nuts over it."

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