Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Last week...

We went on a fabulous field trip last Wednesday to a local farm. I arranged a field trip to Carlton Farms for my wonderful homeschool group, CHANGE. It was the first field trip for our group that I coordinated, and other than realizing in the middle of it all that I really should have brought name tags for everyone, we all had great fun.

The 4 AAA boys were really excited about visiting a real farm. The drive out to the farm took about 45 minutes from our house, and toward the end it was positively bucolic. The day was beautiful, sunny, with that nice early morning mist rising from the rolling hills. Even the massive power plant we passed on the way couldn't mar the beauty of the Georgia morning! We arrived at the farm and the boys were immediately enticed by the tiny baby black kitten who wandered out to greet us - A2 was practically in tears because he wanted to take it home with us. I was fascinated by the chickens roaming around everywhere. Would they peck at me? No, these seemed to be gentle, rather friendly chickens - not at all like the monsters my mom tells horror stories of feeding in her youth (remember them, mom? :-)! After the boys played with the kitten awhile, I managed to get them to pose in the pumpkin patch for me:

After everyone arrived at the farm, our tour guides got us started. We first took a hay ride on a massive "wagon" type of contraption pulled by a tractor. The boys had a love-hate relationship with the hay - and the sun!

The hayride took us around the farm, and we drove past their animal barn (more on that later), their dairy operation (very impressive) and finally, out to the pasture with the cows.

The intent at this point was to have us feed some of the hay in the "wagon" to the cows - unfortunately, the cows weren't that interested!

Next we went to the animal barn, where we got to see a baby cow being bottle-fed,

and the kids got to pet and feed the sheep,

who weren't all that interested in human boys, but the goats across the path from them loved us!

N4, in particular, just loved feeding the goats!

We also saw some baby chickens and some really interesting looking exotic chickens with long, hair-like feathers (didn't get a picture of them, unfortunately - they were really neat!).

After the animal barn, we got to go into the corn maze. I had never been in a corn maze before. and it was both fun and kind of creepy. I don't know what other mazes are like, but this one had different numbered boards scattered through the maze. When you entered, you were given a piece of paper with questions - if the answer to the question was true, you went left at the board, if it was false, you went right at the board. Each board also had a hole-punch, so you could punch your slip of paper after answering each question so you would know if you doubled-back. If you took a wrong turn, you just went in circles for awhile before coming back to the board. The boys and I and the families we were travelling with got to the second sign and then got hopelessly lost! We ended up just going back to the entrance - a reasonable choice when your group includes two pregnant mommies and 4 kids under the age of 4! Even though we failed to get through the whole maze, we had a lot of fun!

Finally, we ate our lunch with our friends under the shade of the trees in front of the farmhouse, and before we left we got a gallon of fresh raw milk for our - ahem - pets. Indeed, our cats and our dog and our, um, other household creatures thought the milk was delicious! Even more so for having visited the cows that produced it!

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