Have you ever met one of these guys? We did! Marketing Director Teril visited Juniper Moon Farm, and got to hobnob with a star. At least in his own mind.
INTERVIEW WITH A LLAMA
Rising at dawn to feed hungry animals or making one last visit to the barn to check on baby goats spending their first night away from their mother might not sound like the most relaxing way to spend a weekend, but for Farm Stay guests at Juniper Moon Fiber Farm, it’s a glimpse into a daily routine many fiber enthusiasts only dream about.
Located in Palmyra, Virginia, Juniper Moon Fiber Farm is the United States’ first fiber-based CSA. Along with owner Susan Gibbs (fondly know by CSA members as Shepherd Susie) and farm managers Caroline and Zack, JMFF is home to a flock of Babydoll Southdown, Border Leicester , Cormo sheep and angora goats, a dynamic pig duo, one miniature donkey, a lively mob of chickens, and three Maremma sheepdogs. Plus one hot llama!
We recently had the opportunity to sit down with Jerry The Llama, Juniper Moon’s self-proclaimed Vice-President of Farm Security & General Awesomeness. Here, in an exclusive Knitcircus interview, Jerry shares his personal take on fun, fiber and keepin’ it real:
Knitcircus: Hi Jerry, great to meet you! You joined the JMFF team last March. Tell us a little bit about your role here at the farm so far.
Jerry The Llama: Well, as a guard llama, I’m basically in charge around here. But I do try to maintain a low-key management style. I leave the frenzied barking to the dogs, for example. I guess you could say I’m a no-drama llama.
KC: The sheep seem to be watching your every move. What’s up with that?
JTL: I overheard a farm guest say that I lurk around like “the Christopher Walken of Llamas.” But with my swanlike neck, flowing blond hair and enviable eyelashes, I see myself more as the Fabio of the Farmyard. I think the ewes have a bit of a crush, actually.
KC: So what does such a handsome llama do for fun?
JTL: This one always cracks up the flock: I like to wait until Caroline is deep in a moment of peaceful contemplation up on the hill and then I sneak up behind her, ninja-style, and rest my nose on her shoulder. Or I creep silently up onto the porch when Zack is baking bread and peek in the kitchen window. It smells soooo good. They never suspect, but I do this a couple of times a week – shhhhhhhh.
KC: Jerry, I can’t help but notice that you seem to be, um, humming. What’s that all about?
JTL: Did you know that most llamas hum when they are worried? Excuse me for a sec, I have to go check the driveway.
(Jerry strolls across the field toward the driveway and peers out over the fence.)
I keep a watchful eye out for Shepherd Susie. She’s on the road this fall touring yarn shops to introduce the new JMFF yarn line to knitters everywhere, which is super-exciting but all we miss her a lot.
KC: Tell us more about the yarn!
JTL: Shepherd Susie created the collection with KFI and it includes three yarns, Findley, Willa and Chadwick . My personal favorite is Willa, a soft, bulky weight merino/kid mohair blend. I think it would make an amazing scarf to accessorize my long and lovely neck. Have you noticed how long and lovely my neck is? Actually, my agent is negotiating a deal for me to do some modeling in Shepherd Susie’s next JMFF pattern book. Did I mention that I have endlessly long legs too? To match my swanlike neck?
KC: Oh yes, you certainly are gorgeous! And you certainly do spend a lot of time patrolling the perimeter of this field.
JTL: The dogs can only do so much, and frankly they are too short (and too silly) to see what’s coming down the road. Protect us from intruders. Watch out for the mail. That sort of thing. It’s a full schedule.
KC: The mail?
JTL: Yeah, can you really blame me if the occasional box from Amazon that’s addressed to “Jenny”, our business manager, is accidentally delivered to “Jerry” instead? The flock and I just finished reading Three Bags Full on my Kindle. And then I — oops, I mean she — placed an order for the Tabla restaurant cookbook by Floyd Cardoz. One of our farm guests made a totally a-mazing guacamole from that book and I’m got my hooves crossed that Shepherd Susie will whip up a batch for us sometime.
KC: So Jerry, you’re not a fiber animal. What’s that like on a fiber farm?
JTL: Some types of llamas are bred for their fiber, but I’m here for other reasons. My superior skills in border surveillance, flock management, and freelance knitwear modeling speak for themselves.
KC: Thanks so much Jerry, it’s been fun getting to know you. Llama llama ding dong!
JTL: Yeah, like I’ve never heard that one before. Yawn.
For more information about farm stays at Juniper Moon Farm, visit