Alpacas at home show: 'They really bring out the kid in everyone'

Alpacas at home show: 'They really bring out the kid in everyone'
Chris Callahan of Luna and Larry's Coconut Bliss passed out hundreds of samples of the company's frozen desserts.

EUGENE, Ore. - Hundreds celebrated, sampled and learned about sustainable living at the Lane Events Center over the weekend at the 9th annual Good Earth Home, Garden & Living Show.

The show included over 235 food, product and entertainment exhibits, as well as music, workshops and seminars.

Special guests included salvage design expert Shannon Quimby and wild food expert John Kallas.

This year’s theme was "providing different ways to take part in wholesome living."

Meghan Barr of Mountain Rose Herbs, a Eugene company, said that the show is a great opportunity for their company to interact with customers face-to-face.

“It's really fun for us,” Barr said. “We all enjoy the face time with customers because we are a mainly web- and phone-based company. We get a lot of good feedback from the Eugene community at this show.”

Items at the show, which ran Friday through Sunday, included naturally harvested shea butters, therapeutic essential oils, free trade coffee, natural fibers, organic foods, and green household products. 

Services on display included alternative home energy systems, sustainable landscaping options, creating backyard bird habitats, and natural pesticides.

And there were alpacas.

Robin Freedman of Pura Vida Alpacas, a Eugene business, said after visiting the show one year and seeing pens of chickens on display, she knew that her alpacas would be a great fit for the event.

“It is impossible to stay away," Freedman said of the affect her alpacas have on the public. “They really bring out the kid in everyone.”

Freedman began working with alpacas in 2008 as show animals. She quickly realized alpaca fiber’s potential as an environmentally friendly textile. 

“Alpacas really fit this event well because they offer a sustainable crop,” Freedman said. “Nothing is wasted with alpaca fiber – you can wear it, walk on it, and use it as a building material. It is a truly renewable product.”

First-time visitor Gabrielle Mueller was impressed with the variety that the show offered and plans to return in the future.

“The show is a great way to get to know the people behind my favorite products and also discover new favorites all at once,” Mueller said.

Entrance to the event was free with a canned food donation to FOOD for Lane County.

If you missed the Good Earth Show, the 35th annual Lane County Spring Home & Garden Show will take place March 6 through March 9 at the Lane Events Center.