Spring to Snow..

We had so much fun on Sunday! The day was beautiful, not too warm, the sun was shining, and we decided it was a good day to go on a duck hunt. Not a literal duck hunt, but a duck hunt to find ducks and identify them since we had studied them the week before.

We started with dabbling and diving ducks, out in the wild. And found three whole mallards at the park. So, we hopped back into the car and headed off to Calder Dairy Farm. They have a pond there and usually have a ton of ducks and geese.

And it was a success! We were surrounded by ducks and geese – and other animals as well. Billy and I were like little kids, so excited about the calves and baby goats, the bunnies, just all of the life around us!

This calf licked Wyatt’s hand and he wasn’t quite sure how he felt about it. They are rougher than you might imagine! He did enjoy giving it pets though, same as Billy and I. We love Calder’s Dairy Farm – they are a working farm and have been since 1946. The best thing about them is that you can visit 7 days a week year round. They have a viewing room for the milking, and you can interact with some of the animals. I mentioned in another post about how important this is for those who don’t grow up in a rural area. Visiting these small farms allows children to experience these animals first hand, to pet them, feed them, wonder at them. To see their food chain, and to know it. Definitely not something you can do on a factory farm!

I’m fairly certain this sign was put up just for me.

As you can see, we did find more ducks! We left so happy, and with fresh milk, butter, and ice cream!

Monday was another beautiful day, and Wyatt and I spent part of our school day outside, learning about wildflowers and just enjoying the flowers and apple blossoms and birds.

Today though…. where did spring go??

I hope this second winter only lasts a short time. I am so worried about our apple tree, and all the little creatures being born, the tadpoles in the ponds, the insects that have emerged. Hopefully this will be very short cold snap.

Mini-Post: Feeling Peachy!

peach 1

“We are going on an adventure!”

This is what I tell Wyatt every time we leave the house, even if it is just to head up to the store. You never know what the day will bring! Sunday started out dreary and overcast for the third day in a row but we were not letting a little gray sky darken our day. I had a surprise up my sleeve! As I piled the car up with picnic type foods and rain coats, my husband was a bit confused, but he is game for anything so just kind of shrugged before taking the wheel and heading south.

I navigated our family to a favorite spot of ours, Erie Orchards, an orchard my family has been going to since I was a little girl, probably around Wyatt’s age. It was peach picking time! We picked up our bag from the adorable weather-beaten barn store, and rolled our Jeep on over a few dirt roads back to where the peach trees grew.

We could see people over in the blueberry patch, but we weren’t here for blueberries. We had the peaches all to ourselves. And Wyatt had a blast! Some of the trees were small enough for him to stand under and reach the peaches right off the branch, which he thought was the best thing ever! He happily snapped them off and deposited them into our bag.

 

Look at that look of concentration, and he even said peach for the first time!!

We had a wondeful adventure on a day that looked like it was going to be a bummer. The sky was heavy with clouds, which made the day cooler, and their was virtually no humidity. Add a small cool breeze and it was actually pretty perfect.

You just never know where a day will take you.

And now we have 8 lbs of peaches to use. A small thing though for such a fun day!

Anyone have any good peach recipes to share with me?

Down on the Farm..

We’ve stumbled into a theme. It wasn’t planned. It just sort of…evolved. One thing led to another. But we are now farm addicts.

Our addiction began when I found the BBC show Edwardian Farm online. We were hooked from the moment the brilliant hosts began wrangling sheep in their brogans, making clotted cream, and having a pint in the pub. We binge watched the show, then found there were more! Victorian Farm, Tudor Farm, Manor Farm…we are still making our way through the bunch. But the show started off a steamroll effect.

One fine Sunday morning, we found ourselves restless, but without plans. There we were, driving about, looking for a destination, when we remembered Calder’s Dairy farm! A quick drive into the country for us, and there we were. Surrounded by cows and goats and chickens and ducks, even a pair of peacocks! We mucked about, exclaiming over the cuteness of the ducks (ok, that was just me) and being slightly afraid of the giant cows. (ok, just me again.) Wyatt adored it, and was so excited. Our speech delayed boy even very quietly whispered “moo” into his dad’s shoulder.

Of course we couldn’t leave without visiting the store, and checking out it’s available wares. Faced with freezers of ice cream, we had to eat some. It was delicious, of course. And it was pretty cool thinking the milk for the ice cream came from the cows just a few feet away! I had cookies and cream ice cream, and Wyatt and Billy enjoyed birthday cake flavored ice cream.

We didn’t escape with just the ice cream in our bellies. I also purchased a gallon of milk, in a glass bottle, a giant slab of butter, and a t-shirt for Wyatt. That milk was pure delight, and I am going today to buy more at their local store. One of my goals for the year was to try to purchase food from more local, small farmers, to see our food chain. This is one step closer to that goal. It takes more effort, but it is worth it – for the food, the farmer, and our local economy and community. (For more about this, read Wendell Berry. He’s a genius.)

Billy and I are now dreaming of farms – or at least somewhere I could have a few ducks, whom I would name Francis and Duckie, and a cute little pony, or mule. And a bearded collie. Billy wants to try his hand at brewing ginger beer, an enterprise I fully support. I love a good Moscow Mule and Dark and Stormies. I wouldn’t want to kill any of my animals though. That is a drawback to farming, but one I understand. I’m a vegetarian but the rest of my crew eats meat. Our obsession seems to be continuing, and I am even going to attempt to craft – everyone stand back! I am not the slightest bit successful generally, but I really want this one to work. I plan on making a set of barnyard buddies for Wyatt, some felt farm animals to play with. I can’t wait to make one of the adorable Tamworth pigs!

I end my evening these days, porch sitting, looking at my very full apple tree, drinking a chilled glass of La Vielle Ferme Blanc, dreaming of a farm to call our own. Maybe one day. Until then, it’s always nice to daydream. And eat ice cream and drink wine.