Just at the edge of east Auburn, there’s a five-acre farm known as Green Apple Alpacas, where guests can tour the place’s many furry (or feathered) friends or even camp out for a night or two.
Since the farm started up three years ago, it has become popular enough to be a runner-up for this year’s “Best Family Entertainment” category for the Best of Auburn.
Primarily an alpaca and llama farm, when Mark and Kandi Dodrill were originally coming up with the idea for their farm, they were actually going to go with a smaller, horned beast.
“We were initially going to do goats, but goats are naughty,” Kandi said with a laugh. While they do have a few goats, Green Apple farm’s other hooved animals that guests get to meet and enjoy along with the alpacas and llamas are their small herd of sheep and Penny, the sweet little Jersey cow.
At Green Apple, the alpacas and llamas — like Pony, Honey, Puff, Georgia, Miracle and her little baby, Hudson and more — are the stars of the show. When the Dondrills decided to not focus on goats, they decided on the charming South American animals. “We wanted to do something different,” said Kandi.
Other animals that can be found at the farm are the regular ducks and geese, two egg-laying chickens, a very tall rooster named Rico (though everyone just calls him Big Sexy) and a whole flock of retired show chickens that one of the Dondrill’s daughters raised in 4-H.
“That’s how we got into farming,” said Kandi. Before the Dondrills moved out to rural southeast King County, they had lived in Bellevue, where they were exposed to agriculture through their daughter’s 4-H endeavors and through a trip around Italy.
“We stayed at farms in Italy and that’s where we got a love for agricultural tourism,” Kandi said.
The Dondrills took these inspirations and galloped away with them. Green Apple Alpacas not only offers tours of the animals and farms, but Kandi also teaches different farm-based classes, like “Goat Milk Soap Making”, where guests can learn to make a customized two-pound batch of soap in a safe way, or “Felting”, where guests can learn how to make crafts using alpaca fiber or sheep’s wool.
The farm offers a special boutique for special guests where a variety of alpaca-themed gifts can be purchased, along with alpaca wool socks and yarn made from the fibers of the sheep and alpaca of Green Apple Alpacas.
Another major focus of Green Apple Alpacas is becoming a farm stop on the sites Hipcamp and Harvest Host, where RV drivers from all over can hitch up their rigs to the dedicated spaces on the property. When guests stay overnight at the farm, they also get to enjoy the furry/feathered animals and the kindness of the Dondrills.
For more information, visit greenapplealpacas.com.