by Chris Tiessen

‘There’s nothing to worry about,’ Kristi tells me as I gingerly walk through the gate and into the small herd. ‘They’re used to people.’ Sure enough, within seconds I’m surrounded by at least a dozen alpacas – all sniffing and nudging and staring at me with their massive, expressive eyes. They look like a cross between a standard poodle and small camel, I think to myself. Such amazing creatures.

Kristi Mercier and her husband, Rob, have been operating Harmony Meadows Alpaca Farm, in Belwood for over a decade now. With a herd of over thirty alpacas (along with a stable of Labrador Retrievers), they keep busy. ‘We shear the herd once a year,’ notes Kristi as we walk from the females toward the males (kept apart for obvious reasons), ‘and sell alpaca fibre and products at our farm store, the Guelph Farmers Market, and online too.’ Products like alpaca ponchos, socks, shawls, blankets, yarn, and more. ‘And we host tours as well,’ notes Kristi. ‘People are so curious about alpacas – we love inviting folks right into the pasture to hang out with them.’

Like so many other remarkable farms and food businesses that dot Guelph and Wellington County, Kristi and Rob’s Harmony Meadows is a partner of Taste Real – a County of Wellington program that promotes local food and facilitates valuable connections among food businesses, consumers, and farmers.  

Book your visit with the alpacas at harmonymeadowsalpaca.ca, and learn more about Taste Real at tastereal.ca