One thing I love about New England is all of the farms. Although I had traveled to these parts multiple times over the years, I still somehow had the perception that the northeast is overcrowded. I guess the sad fact is that preconceptions like these die hard because I was pleasantly surprised when we moved up here to discover that it really is less crowded here than down south. Most homes are on a decent size plot; I suppose the idea of a “cluster” home like you find in any Atlantan subdivision is a more recent idea, and since the homes here are older, they still remain on their 1 acre tracts of land. In addition, since neighborhoods are older, trees are all aged and well-established too and add even more privacy for each residence.
It is common here for homeowners who might have a little more than an acre to start a farm. I get the idea it is almost a hobby. There are at least 3 such farms within a 2 miles radius of our home. Some farmers offer just “Fresh Eggs” while others have a good selection of vegetables. A couple of weeks ago, I was unable to find good, fresh corn at the grocery store, so on the way home, we stopped at one of the farms near our home. I had seen the sign day after day and was dying to stop in to pay a visit.
At the farm, I was able to browse the shelves of the little shack store all alone because the owner was not tending to it. I then selected the corn I wanted and put my money into the little box by the door. An easy and fun transaction, plus it afforded an opportunity to discuss honesty with the kids. “Can’t someone just come and take whatever they want?” they all asked.
Yesterday we had the opportunity to visit another farm. The visit to the Bunnell Farm was a field trip with one of homeschool groups I have joined.
I have to admit, it is strange walking up to a group of people I don't know; I am used to being the old-time homeschooler who knows everyone at every field trip. But this was a wonderful time for me to get to know some new moms, and the kids made some new friends too.
We started our field trip with a hayride, which included a stop at the pumpkin patch where the children were permitted to select a small pumpkin.
Then we received a tour of the farm, including a stop to see the calf,
a visit to the barn to visit the horses (and a loud rooster who was trying his best to steal the show),
and information about turkeys. This farm has about 100 turkeys. Customers can stand at the edge of the coop, select the turkey they want to appear on their Thanksgiving table, and the farmer will take care of the rest.
Following the barnyard tour, the kids got to do the corn maze. It was a rather elaborate one that took the kids about 45 minutes. I made the wise decision to sit the maze out along with the Princess because I did not want to be carrying her through the last half hour of the maze. Surprisingly, my three kids along with a new friend Alex met were the first kids to successfully exit the maze. And they had found the answers in the maze to all of the trivia questions, a feat that even some of the teenagers did not accomplish.
So it was a successful day at the farm. Seeing as how I can't even handle a puppy, farm life obviously is not for me, but I sure do enjoy getting to benefit from all of these New Englanders who find joy in it!