Abby Scott, daughter of 63rd Street Farm founders Amanda and Brian Scott, launched her Alpaca fiber business, Royal Fibers, this August, after two years of planning, research and a year of growing.
She keeps 14 alpacas on over 10 acres of leased City open space, including four babies all named in some connection to its mom (meet Strawberry Banana’s baby, Smoothie!) Though the Scotts take care of them, the alpacas are pretty feral, Amanda tells BLDRfly, even giving birth completely unassisted.
The sheered alpaca fleece gets made into skeins of yarn and roving, big loose twists of fiber for things like felting, by a contact in Estes Park, who produces 60 250-yard skeins over a two-week period. Abby sells the skeins at the farm’s CSA pickup mini market for $40, selling approximately three to five a week since she started. Abby’s stand also displays the name of the alpaca who donated the fleece.
Born the same year her parents launched the farm in 2009, Abby grew up running around the land and now attends Mountain Shadows Montessori School, which sits just up the hill, within view of the property. “When I was in kindergarten,” she tells us, “we’d always come out and see all the vegetables and I’d pull a carrot and eat it.”
“She’s learning all about expenses and profits,” Amanda says of Abby, “and customer service, which is very important to know.”
Community farm life
Abby’s fibers addition to the farm’s CSA pick-up days adds to the already bustling community event 63rd Street Farm hosts.
Each week, the farm family opens its gates to its CSA community and hosts local Boulder winemakers Settembre Cellars and pizza catering by Antonio Laudisio, former owner of Ristorante L, for the stone pizza oven Brian built.
Neighbors and members can come pick up their food Thursday nights between 3:00 and 7:00 p.m., grab a wood-fired pizza, a glass of wine and sit out on the farm and enjoy the sunset as kids run and play and friends gather around the fire pit. The farm hosts its CSA nights for 24 weeks out of the year, with six weeks left of this year’s season.
Since starting its CSA in 2010, Amanda and Brian have grown it from 65 members to 350 members and over 1,000 people, with this year’s CSA selling out at the beginning of April (which has never happened, according to Amanda.)
With Brian’s background as a builder and stone artisan and both certified in permaculture, they built the space to have a natural flow pertinent to their needs, and this included a lively community space with multiple stations, a hand-built stone pizza oven and a play area for kids.
“It’s really fun!” says Amanda. “Usually we’ll have everyone come out, go around this table, pickup their food like they’re at their own mini farmers market they’ve already paid for. All the children get to come run around and be a farm kid for a night.”
After growing its CSA to 150 on just two farmed acres of their home property, the Scotts quickly realized that owning property in Boulder and only feeding 150 families wouldn’t monetarily sustain them.
They bought land from neighbors and the City of Boulder Open Space & Mountain Parks department quickly granted them 10 acres across the street. Within three to four years, the Scotts grew their homestead farm to six acres and farm just over 70 acres of leased open space land spread between various plots along 63rd Street, including space for beef cows, turkeys, and chickens for eggs, an apple orchard, hay land and 10 acres on which they raise vegetables.
The farm’s CSA nights still bustle, but with Covid-19, others prefer delivery or a curbside pickup option where the farm pre-bags their weekly CSA for them. For anybody coming out to pick their own veggies, the Scotts have set up a mandatory hand wash station and require members to use farm-provided bags.
Header image: Amanda and Abby Scott. Image: Tatyana Sharpton.