After 35 years in the restaurant business, we (Joe and Diane Nelson) decided it was time for a change. Along with Jerry Dunne (who has been with us for the previous 20 years in the restaurants), we decided to sell and get into ranching. By chance we happened upon alpacas and have never looked back. With a lot of dreams and sweat we turned empty and raw land on San Juan Island into what Diane refers to as "Joe's tapestry", a beautiful ranch highlighted by an exceptional herd of alpacas. What started out as a project and a way to ease into retirement, turned into a passion. Along the way, Diane developed the Country Store (another project turned passion), Joe and Jerry continued to develop the new ranch, all the while, planning for the shows, making the breeding decisions and keeping in touch with their growing list of alpaca friends.
After all of that, a lot of people thought the three of us had lost our marbles when we decided to sell the ranch on San Juan Island and relocate. The islands are a jewel of the northwest and the ranch was fast becoming a favorite destination spot for both visitors and locals. A favorite spot not just because of the alpacas, but also because of the beauty and serenity that the ranch property provided.
We had our work cut out to find or create such a property again. We believe we have done just that! With 140 acres of high desert, we are creating Joe and Diane Nelson's Tapestry II. Using approximately 90 acres to grow our own hay, the remaining 50 acres is home to show quality alpacas. Utilizing the over 300 (in some cases ancient) Juniper trees that reside on those 50 acres, we are creating a wonderland of ranch beauty.
We've transformed the stark desert landscape into emerald green pastureland. We've dug a centerpiece one acre pond which will be used for aesthetics and irrigation. We've put underground irrigation throughout the entire ranch acreage. We've added a house and built a machine barn which will house all of the equipment. We've built a hay barn and a state of the art animal husbandry barn. We designed and developed a fleece room, conference room, several offices and a guest suite all in one master building. All of this is positioned to take in the wonder and majesty of the volcanic peaks that reside on the eastern side of the Oregon Cascades. In addition we eventually opened another alpaca country store (now named The Alpaca Boutique) on the property. Please visit our onsite Boutique, open 7 days a week from 10am-4pm.