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Elaine Vandiver: From farmstead to market

By Vicki Hillhouse

An heirloom-dyed knitwear collection was the farthest thing from Elaine Vandiver’s mind when she and her husband bought farm property at the state line in 2013.

But there she was with 10 acres of land that sprouted into a vibrant ocean of green grass. The two llamas that came with the property couldn’t keep it mowed alone.

“Alpacas just seemed like a great way to complete the country scene,” she says.

And since alpacas need to be sheared, she found herself up to her eyeballs in fiber that could be turned to yarn.

And the yarn could be made into garments.

And since she craved more vibrant colors than the white, brown and black that came from her animals, she planted heirloom flowers to produce color-fast dyes safe for the environment.

And when she harvested more flowers than she could possibly need for dyes, she began to sell them.

Thus, Old Homestead Alpacas and the accompanying flower business, Gholson Gardens, were born.

“We have lots of events — meet-and-greets, tours, yoga events,” she says. The best way for the community to experience us is to come out to the farm and see us.” (Check the events calendar to learn of upcoming events at the farm!)

Watch a video to learn more about Elaine, her alpacas and her knitwear – click here!