Monday, March 26, 2012

Down on the Farm

A couple of weeks ago, we took a trip to the farm.

Our home school group visited Amy's Farm  last year, and it was such a hit that we scheduled it again for this year.
I wondered if the kids would enjoy it as much as they did last year.
We were doing the same tour.
I didn't need to worry.
They more than enjoyed it--they loved it!
From picking veggies in the garden, to milking Honeybun the cow, we all had a fabulous time.
Just like last year, I left almost wanting a cow of my own.
Or at least some chickens.
I draw the line at pigs, though.
Pigs just don't do it for me.
But come along for the tour and see what you think.

Meet Farmer Heidi.
She was our tour guide.

The tour starts off at Wisteria Junction.

I've always dreamt of a long pergola, covered with sweet smelling Wisteria, perfect for sitting under for lazy summer lunches.
Wisteria is one of my favorite flowers.
It's so old fashioned and fragrant.

Wisteria Junction is a good place to sit and learn the rules of the farm.
And to be distracted by cute cats strolling by.

Spring is such a fun time to visit the farm.
If you're lucky, there are baby chicks to spy, baby bunnies and maybe even kittens.

Everything is in bloom and you really feel that spring is here.
Farms and springtime just go hand in hand, you know?

After a long winter of root vegetables, I appreciate that there are lots of new veggies coming up.
So it made sense that we began in the garden.
Amy's Farm is a real life, working farm.
Their garden supplies their farm stand, a CSA, some local restaurants, and some food shelters.

The kids enjoy smelling, touching, and tasting the contents of the garden.
Mmmm, fresh Rosemary.

Farmer Heidi taught the kids a lot out in the garden.
For instance, did you know that broccoli is a flower?

We inspected plants that grow funny.

And smell funny, too.
Very funny, apparently.

And we learned that baby vegetables are sweeter than the grown up vegetables.
Just like humans.

We learned that God loves color.
Just look at this Rainbow Chard.
Isn't is beautiful?
My kids were so struck by this chard.
It was just so bright and truly almost all the colors of the rainbow.

We experience it so often when we're out in nature--God's artistry shown in His creation.
It reminds us that God cares for us enough to create more than a beautiful world for us to look at, but also beautiful things for us to eat.
Like these beets--ruby colored and golden.

Amy's Farm is organic. 

Farmer Heidi explained that organic means there might be a few holes in the lettuce.
And bugs too.

But the good bugs eat up most of the bad bugs.

William found bugs right away.
That boy loves bugs.
Passionately. (we currently have 3 pet grasshoppers.  we also had 2 pet snails, but he just set them free the other day.)
We weren't sure if this moth was good or bad.

But it sure was beautiful.

After our time in the garden, we washed our veggies.

And tried them.
A few of the braver kids even tried the beets.

Lilly liked the ruby ones best because they gave her pink teeth
That girl is hopelessly infatuated with anything pink.

Good thing the pig wasn't pink.

We gave the carrot tops and beet greens to the sheep, goats, chickens and pig.

We petted some of them.
We spied some fresh laid eggs.
And we had our pants, shirts and shoes nibbled by friendly goats.
William loved the chickens.
Especially the one with fluffy feathers covering its feet.
I know he'd be a big fan of the chickens if Aaron has his way and we get ourselves a few.
I can just see him walking around the yard with a chicken tucked under his arm.

After visiting the barn yard animals, it was time to milk the cow.
Her name is Honeybun.

Just like last year, my boys wouldn't do any milking.
But Lilly stepped right up.

Farmer Heidi showed her what to do and she got right to work.

"I just squeezed it and the milk came out!"

Farmer Heidi was so excited for each little person who squeezed out a few drops of milk.
She's awesome.

In addition to joining the CSA at Amy's Farm, you can join a milk share.
That means you come and milk your cow every week or so and get your own supply of fresh, raw milk.
We didn't get to try our milk because of all that legalese stuff that California (basically all of America) is so obsessed over.
But if you buy a share of a cow, you can have all the fresh milk you want.

All the kids were climbing the rails while we were milking the cows.
I totally made my kids pose.

But I wanted to get a picture similar to the one I took last year.
See any changes?
This one was from March 2011.
I think James has grown a foot!
William too.  
Those jeans are capris on him now.
Even Lilly looks longer and leaner.
She's losing her baby girl look.
Boo hoo.

The girls loved currying the pony.

Did you dream of a pony when you were a little girl?
I did.
I also dreamt of living on a farm, or near the woods, going boating on our lake, picking wildflowers from the meadow, and gathering eggs from the hen house for breakfast in the morning.

Thus far, none of those dreams have come true yet.
But I do get to visit the farm and come home with this awesome basket of veggies.
Come over to Picnics in the Park to see what I did with them.

If you live in the So. Cal area, I highly recommend Amy's Farm to you.
Check out their website here and get the info to arrange a visit.
You'll love it.
Just like we did.
Love from,
PS.  Davy was on this trip too.  But he was strapped to me in the Ergo carrier the whole time.  I didn't want to use my stroller and perhaps pick up some farm poop on the wheels.  So Davy missed out on the photo shoots, but he loved the farm too.
Especially the animals.


Mommy Tam-Tam said...

Love this post, Greta. We love going to the farmer's markets up here in Washington and will be visiting some of the farms this summer.

And, I'm so glad Lilly got to milk a cow. I remember the first time I did as a girl on a school trip and it was amazing!


hennymats said...

Oh I love that! The farm sounds wonderful, my kids would love that, too. Wonderful pictures, too! Lilly really is getting such a big girl. So, when are you starting your farm?

Betsi* said...

Oh my gosh! I love Lilly's pink teeth! ;)