Jamieson returns to ‘the dark side’
SPARTA TOWNSHIP — Kimberly Maxwell Jamieson is on her third career and this is the one she has always wanted.
Jamieson operates Pineapple Hill Farm.
Her previous careers were quite different. She worked for a computer company and raised two children living in suburban Rockaway for more than 20 years.
Growing up in West Milford, Jamieson had a lot of animals and she wanted to get back to that lifestyle. So she and her husband, Stephen, a mechanical engineer who owns a business in Dover, bought property in Sparta in June of 2016.
Noting Stephen wasn’t as enthusiastic about farming as she was, she said, but “I brought him to the dark side.”
“If I was younger I would be boarding horses,” Jamieson said, noting there are many trails in Sussex County.
But horses are expensive and difficult, so she started looking for a different animal.
“I wanted to find a way to use the property and generate some income,” she noted.
She thought about dairy goats, but decided that would mean a lot of bureaucracy
She decided on alpacas and, with her daughter, Emily, visited farms to learn as much as she could. She got friendly with Denise Spina of Humming Meadows in Hampton Township and ended up buying alpacas from her. She has two Suris and eight Huacayas.
The terrain of Sparta Mountain feels at home for the Peruvian animals.
“They love running up and down my hill,” Jamieson said.
One of two attempts at breeding was successful, resulting in AnnieK, named for a dear friend who lost her battle with cancer in 2017.
Jamieson plans on more breeding attempts this year, at Humming Meadows, noting that if she gets a male she will have to sell him since male and female alpacas can’t be kept together. Should the breeding be successful, there is room for another pasture.
Three Nigerian dwarf goats serve as buddies for the alpacas and two mini horses serve as buddies for Jamieson; “they are my horse fix.” They are protected by Kaiser, an Akbash dog. Akbash are originally from Turkey, but Kaiser was brought up from Texas, Jamieson said.
She said he’s protective of the other animals, even the chickens after what she describes as “the unfortunate incident.”
Kaiser is so well-behaved he won’t try to get out of the fenced-in areas even when they are open, she said.
Jamieson runs the farm by herself. Emily, trained as a veterinary technician, helps with herd health, administering shots and oral antibiotics when needed and trimming hooves.
She has fought the mud problem of this season with untreated natural mulch in a four inch layer.
Pineapple Hill is an LLC and Jamieson is working toward getting her farmland assessment.
She sells eggs through word-of-mouth and on Facebook Marketplace and soon will begin marketing fiber.
The alpacas are sheared every May and has some skeins available. She now has to create a wrapper with her information and find customers among the knitters and crocheters in the region.
With much enthusiasm, Jamieson said she hopes she won’t need to look for a fourth career.
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