Our kids are pretty brave with animals and we’ve visited our local City Farm loads of times where the kids have petted the animals to their little hearts content.
That all changed a few months ago when the boys took hubby’s Mum to the farm to show her around. Hubby and I are cheap skates and have never paid a pound for the small bag of animal feed for the kids (if they want it they can spend their hard-earned pocket-money (allowance)). They’ve never before spent their money on feed but this time they decided to splurge and Master 7 and Master 5 both proudly wandered down to the animal enclosure with their small paper bag in hand.
They went through the first gate to the animal enclosure…no dramas…
They wriggled through the second gate…
Unbeknownst to the boys a rather large group of goats (most of which much taller than Master 5) had spotted the food…
Our kiddos stood smiling and unaware of the very excited scramble of goats climbing over one another in a bee-line to their baggies…
The goats closed in on them quickly and as they reached the kids all at once they tried to get the bags of food. That’s a lot of goat!
Master 5 went into climbing mode whilst screeching in terror. He “climbed” my mother-in-law like a ladder, scrambling up her body, howling in terror and secured a death grip around her neck to wait out the stampede.
Master 7 also let out a horrendous screech of terror, gripped his Dad and threw the food as far away as his arms were able before utilising Daddy as a human shield…
It was an experience! One that left Master 7 with a slight goat-phobia and Master 5 just a little more cautious of four-legged creatures.
Fast forward to last Saturday afternoon. We wandered over to the Harvest Festival at the farm. We went to the Harvest Festival last year too and I made poor hubby carry a monster pumpkin home. We also chowed down on the pumpkin soup they were selling.
This year there were no pumpkins or pumpkin soup for sale. I could have cried (noooo!). Fortunately what they lacked in pumpkiny goodness they almost made up for in jams and chutney’s made with their fresh farm produce. We scored some fresh tomatoes and apples (yum!) and after much taste testing brought home a jar of their honey (extra yum as their bees are kept next to the apple orchard) and some chutney. I bravely resisted the cakes and made up for it with all that chutney and jam taste testing.
The kiddo’s ate cake and patted ferrets…
Master 10 eyeballed a goat…
…there were pretty, pretty moo cows
…weird ball thingies?
We tasted some freshly pressed apple juice (yum!).
…sniffed the herb garden…
…here’s the view opposite the herb garden and apple pressing (the sludgey stuff under the Thames when the tides out…not so tasty).
…and then it was time to brave the goats. Fortunately the ratio of goats to sheep was heavier on the sheep this particular day and Master 7 after having a grumble about how buying feed is “such a rip off!” willingly entered the animal enclosure.
This kid is not a fan of goats! There were some whimpers when a goat wandered close but petting the baby goats built up his courage a bit. Master 5 was a little cautious (very unlike him) but it didn’t last long.
…oh and check out the Camo Goat
To finish off our visit we had hamburgers and sausages (last years little piggies, eek) BBQ’ed and had a glass of wine
…oh and hey, we won 2 prizes in the raffle. A bottle of champagne and a basket of jams, honey and chutney. My current fav is the Lemon Verbena Jelly (fresh from the farm’s herb garden) and the Pumpkin and Quince Chutney…though not at the same time…yummo!
I love that in England children have such easy access to farm life even in a city as built up as London. It’s hands-on and the volunteers talked openly about where the sausages we were eating came from. The animals on the farm are cherished and well cared for but are also useful and I love that our kids in the middle of a big city get to experience that. We can buy: eggs laid by the geese and chickens on the farm, honey from the bees, vegetables freshly dug up, apples from the orchard and pork from the pigs.
Yeah, its always all about the food with me!