03 June 2016

Lots of Farm Visits in April

After our trip to Boone, the rest of the month of April was all about visits to farms or farm events around the Triangle.

First up was NC State's Farm Animal Days. I was able to take the girls to the free event on a Friday (they only offer it Wednesday-Friday), and the weather was a comfortable spring day. The event is designed for field trips, but allows for anyone to attend. I expected there to be crowds and there were a few moments where I thought we'd get trampled by the school kids, but overall it wasn't bad. We took our time seeing the different animals and avoided the long lines. Rose isn't a huge fan of petting animals yet, and those animals had the longest lines, so it worked out for us. Rose's favorite animals were the Turkeys, who went "gobble-gobble" regularly. She enjoyed milking the cow, too. But the best part of the trip for her was getting to eat NC State ice cream before we left. She did great using the port-a-potty, and thankfully we avoided a catastrophe when someone returned the keys I had dropped to the check-in table!

Checking out the different animals at NC State Farm Animal Days

Rose gets to "milk a cow" for the first time

The following weekend was the annual Piedmont Farm Tour hosted by the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association (CFSA). We participated in the tour last year, which offers an opportunity to visit any of over a dozen local farms in the area. There is a suggested itinerary so you can hit multiple farms in one afternoon. Most farms serve food during the tour and/or offer something special for visitors. This year, we picked two really great farms - Minka Farm and Fickle Creek Farm - which were just down the road from each other and about 45 minutes from home in Efland, NC. We timed the trip during Rose's nap so she could rest before the adventures. Unfortunately, she fell asleep about 15 minutes from arriving, so we just hung out in the car in the parking lot for about 30-45 minutes while both girls slept. It was a nice day, so we didn't mind some relaxation and quiet.

In the main area of Minka Farm, we were able to see lots of young (and baby) goats. The farmers allowed visitors to hang out with the goats and hold some. Rose is very hesitant to touch them, but she did think they were "so cute" and managed to pet the baby a little bit.

Hanging out with the young goats
Rose and mommy petting the baby goat
After walking around the farm a little bit, seeing the donkey, the baby chicks (which Rose also loved), some cows in the field, and feeding the chickens (mommy or daddy had to throw the food), we enjoyed a picnic lunch of messy (local) ribs.

On our way back home from Minka Farm, we decided to stop in at Fickle Creek Farm, which was on our route and not far from Minka. At Fickle Creek, we had to walk a fair amount to complete a self-guided tour that brought us to various fields with plants and animals. The first highlight was the baby pigs, followed by the mobile chicken coup, where we could pick our own eggs, and we ended the tour with another snack of local hot dogs and chorizo sausages.

Baby pigs nursing and cuddling
Harvesting eggs from the mobile chicken coup
I missed taking pictures of Rose harvesting the eggs...mommy fail

Beautiful cows at Fickle Creek Farm

As we drove home towards Cary on the back roads, we unintentionally came upon a very popular ice cream shop called Maple View Ice Cream. We had never been there, and hadn't planned on stopping in. With the perfect weather and a crowd that made us believe the ice cream was worth the wait, we decided to stop to grab a bite before heading home. Thankfully, I had the girl's pajamas and night-time diapers packed, so we were able to get them ready for bed before we left. While the lines were very long and the ice cream shop itself was very hot, both girls did okay waiting and we were rewarded with a delicious treat and an amazing view. Next time we go, I'll hang out with the girls outside while Colin waits in line for us.
Ending the day with an ice cream picnic and sunset
In addition to our farm trips, we also had a few school picnics to attend on the weekends in April, and the weeknight music series events began towards the end of the month. Most Thursday nights since late April, you'd find us at the Park West shopping plaza enjoying the free outdoor music, bubbles, and the bounce-house. Some times we bring our own picnic dinner and other times we pick up food from one of the many restaurants in the plaza.

We love the spring and the warmer weather that comes with it! It's increasingly more difficult to get the girls to bed at a reasonable hour, but it's so hard to not stay outside enjoying the weather as long as possible!