You may recall back in January when I professed my love for that lovely little farm called Stone Barns and promised to return so that we may see it in all the seasons of the year. Well, we missed the farm this spring, but this past Saturday, we were able to visit that special place in the summer and it did not disappoint.
We had a packed schedule that started in the morning with meeting the farm’s turkeys, and then on to egg collection at the hen house and a picnic under the trees. Funnily, not knowing the schedule before we arrived, we had made the poor choice of packing turkey sandwiches – we lucked out though because the irony was lost on the kids and they happily ate their lunch although the same was not true for me and Josh. In the afternoon there was hops tasting with the Blue Hill chef (we missed the chef because we now operate on “Olin and Odette time”, but tasted the hops), flower bed pulling (where we learned about drying statice flowers and got to take some home), then we met the goats, made salsa, watched the feeding of the pigs and learned about/watched the herding of the sheep.
The only slightly stressful thing during the otherwise relaxing experience was that nearly all the fences surrounding the animals were electrified (mostly for their own protection from predators), but scary nonetheless when you have excited little ones (and Josh) with you! But, I am happy to report that no one was shocked – by the fence at least!
I do regret that I didn’t charge our camera battery before we left because although we did get photos of most of the day’s activities and even made a little video from our time there, our camera gave out just before the pigs and the sheep, arguably the best parts of our day, and so we had to rely on our phones to capture those moments. Oh well, there is always next summer!
By the way, can you tell from these photos that it was a million degrees and humid on Saturday? And the farm asks visitors to wear pants and closed-toe shoes, which definitely didn’t help matters!
And the aforementioned photos from my phone after our camera finally gave up. Both the sheep herding and the pig feeding were incredible. They fed the pigs pre-consumer waste from the Blue Hill restaurant, cracked eggs that had been frozen, and expired food from the local grocery store and those guys were well, pigs, with all of it. Olin and Odette just watched in awe of the whole scene for a solid 10 minutes. It stunk and there were flies all around, but they didn’t care.
Also, those sheep – amazing. And this little black dog that did the herding was fascinating to watch. The large white dog in the photo below does not herd the sheep, but instead stays with the herd (particularly in the evening) to keep them safe from predators. The entire thing was fascinating.
And finally, a little video!
Song: Little Bird, Little Bird by Elizabeth Mitchell