About Us


Our alpaca obsession began with one of those late night infomercials in about 2000.  We had already been bitten by the bug to live in a rural setting, and raising alpacas seemed ideal for the prospect.  We spent nearly 10 years toying with the idea, visiting alpaca farms and falling in love with the animals. After much studying and planning, we realized our dream and finally have alpacas to call our own and living with us as of August 2010.  Our farm name, Manna Meadows, came naturally as a combination of our daughters' names (Mae and Anna) and as a remembrance of God's care for us. Our goal is to raise and breed alpacas with perfect conformation and quality fiber that meets the market demand.

Life with alpacas has been all we hoped for and more.  It is work, but rewarding work, to take care of these gentle, peaceful, and very curious animals.  In the first several weeks we gained the following understanding of what we were experiencing:

1. If you leave the gate open, they will wander out.
2. If you leave the barn door open as well, you are in big trouble.
3. It is a wonderful thing that alpacas are herd animals and want to get back to the herd in case of #1 and #2.
4. Pregnant alpacas can be really sweet, and really sour.
5. There are animals in the world that like to eat as much or more than I do.
6. It is so cool to watch a baby alpaca move inside its mother's belly.
7. Alpaca beans are not as bad as some people think.
8. As much as you want the manure away from the barn, there is such a thing as too far.
9. Flies like alpacas more than they like fly traps.
10. Butterflies like alpaca beans.
11. Housework can wait except laundry that seems to have tripled.

Several months later, after three beautiful, heathy cria were born, we continued to appreciate this new experience:

12.  Alpacas need time to gain a sense of trust with new people.
13.  As skeptical as we were, it is true that each alpaca has its own personality and it is fascinating to watch it develop.
14.  A cria in the first hour of life is something only a mother could love.
15.  A cria after 2 hours of age is something no one could help but love.
16.  We almost love showing off our alpacas as much as we love showing off our children.
17.  Alpaca are peaceful and awe inspiring in their natural environment.  Teenage children are not.
18.  Spit happens

In addition to alpaca, we are also small scale beekeepers and added chickens to the tribe in 2011.  We love what we are doing and invite you to contact us and visit anytime.  Come meet an alpaca and you will fall in love, too.

Sharon and Brian Heimes


BEES

Peace and calm are not what most people feel when they think about bees.  But watching a colony of honeybees in the spring and summer can be that and more.  Our journey into beekeeping started after Brian read a book on keeping bees for profit as a 14 year old.  At that time it did not seem to be a realistic endeavor.  Interest was rekindled much later in life and in 1997 we got started with 2 hives.  Every year since has brought new challenges and learning opportunities.  We have greatly enjoyed reaping the rewards both in caches of honey and the opportunity to educate others about these fascinating and ecologically indispensable insects.










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Ph: (913) 461-5003 • 16842 Metro Ave., Bonner Springs, KS USA 66012 • sharon.heimes@gmail.com