BROWNSBURG– Back in 1824, a man named James B. Brown acquired a plot of land in Hendricks County thanks to the Land Grant of 1820. Since Brown was the first white settler in the area, the town of Brownsburg was later named in his honor.
Now, that land belongs to a woman named Lori Lovely. And on the farm— located at 3750 N 950 E— you’ll find old barns dating back to the 1800’s as well as a very modern, unique take on yoga.
You’ve probably heard of goat yoga, but this is next level.
“Alpaca” your bags because we are headed to Montrose Farms Alpaca Ranch on this trip In Your Neighborhood.
“When we found this farm, we loved the property. It’s just a very special place,” said Montrose Farms Alpaca Ranch owner, Lori Lovely. “Then we said ‘Okay, it’s a farm so we need to farm something.”
Being a vegetarian trimmed down some of the options.
“I wanted to find something that had a product— an end product— that didn’t require slaughter,” she noted.
Ultimately, Lori Lovely decided she and her husband would farm alpacas.
Not only are they crazy cute but their fleece is considered a luxury fiber comparable to cashmere.
“One of the benefits of alpaca fleece is that it doesn’t have lanolin like sheep’s wool does,” she explained. “So if you’ve ever worn a wool sweater that’s real scratchy, this won’t be that way. It’s soft against the skin.”
Aside from using fleece to make products like scarves, blankets, socks, keychains and even dryer balls and fleeced soaps, these alpacas (about 30 in total on the farm) have another purpose: as the stars of alpaca yoga.
Inspired by the goat yoga craze and taught by instructors from Indiana Yoga Studio, alpaca yoga has been a hit since Montrose Farms introduced it 3 years ago.
“I think the reason it’s been so popular is they’re just a really interesting animal,” Lovely said. “They’re peaceful, they’re sweet. You can see they like to interact and they’re curious.”
But if you are expecting a completely Zen, totally focused yoga experience… you might want to look elsewhere.
“The yoga gets interrupted a lot because people stop to take pictures or feed them as they come by,” she noted.
And since we’ve all been stuck inside so much during 2020, alpaca yoga offers a unique opportunity to do something unique out in nature.
“This year especially with COVID-19 we’ve been able to do these classes outside whereas some other activities— whether it’s yoga in a studio or bowling or movies— have been closed to people,” Lovely said. “People have just been so grateful to have a place to go to do something and be outside and have fun.”
Whether you’re headed to the farm for yoga or one of their other events, there’s a few things to know ahead of your first alpaca experience.
“Alpacas hate to be petted on the head but they’ve got these nice long necks and backs that are great to be petted on,” she explained. “Other than that, we say they have a personality kind of like a cat… The more you ignore them and lay back, the more interested they’re going to be.”
Four Things You Need to Know About Montrose Farms Alpaca Ranch:
- Montrose Farms Alpaca Ranch is owned by Lori Lovely. When she and her late husband originally purchased the property at 3750 N County Rd 950 E, Brownsburg, Indiana (which dates back to the 1800’s and has ties to Brownsburg’s namesake), they knew they wanted to farm something that did not require slaughter and ultimately decided on alpacas. Known for their curious demeanor, alpacas have fleece that’s considered a luxury fiber, comparable to cashmere.
- Montrose Farms offers alpaca yoga classes on the first and third Sunday of every month. But they have also hosted other events like wine tastings with alpacas, vegan cooking demonstrations and dinners, painting classes as well as private parties, tours and events of all kinds— including proposals.
- Lovely says they love to partner with various groups to offer fun experiences throughout the year. “We love to have visitors…It is by appointment so call ahead and we’ll schedule it,” she said. “We do all ages. We’ve had preschoolers groups come out, senior bus tours…We’re all about community and small business and having a good time.”
- Just in time for the holidays, Montrose Farms is going to be open for business on Small Business Saturday, November 28 from 11am-2pm, where visitors can shop in the barn for alpaca merchandise, fleeces and a children’s book she wrote (called “Isadora’s Dance”) inspired by one of her baby alpacas. And — of course– you can see plenty of alpacas in person. For more upcoming events and activities, make sure you follow them on Facebook.
And since it’s a common question, we had to ask— do alpacas spit?
“Well, yes, but the spitting is just a defense… So like I say if you bring that calm energy, they’re not going to feel threatened,” Lovely said.
While in Brownsburg, check out these other locally owned favorites: