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Outdoor Fun: Farm Visits

Written by contributor Nicole Bennett of Gidget Goes Home.

During summer, most of us want to spend as much time as possible outside. We spend time playing, traveling, learning and just hanging out with family and friends all out of doors, enjoying the weather and the sunshine.

I love it when getting outside with my family also provides an opportunity for learning for my preschool-age daughter. Farm visits are a fabulous way to learn, have fun and enjoy the outdoors as a family!

Just like the summer bounty that comes from the fields, farms come in all varieties. Here are a few different farm experiences our family has had…

Photo by mrs. bennettar

U-Pick Berry Farm

Berry farms are the epitome of summer. You show up, pick berries to your heart’s content, pay for them, and take ’em home to eat and preserve. The prices are often very reasonable for the berries and it’s fun to wander the rows of berries, too.

U-Pick farms can be found for all kinds of berries. I took the kids to a blueberry farm near us, and the farm even does weekly outdoor movie nights during the picking season. My daughter loved getting to pick berries, learning to only pick the blue ones, leaving the greens and reds to continue to ripen.

Photo by mrs. bennettar

Dairy Farm

Last summer, while vacationing in the midwest, we stopped off at a dairy farm in Indiana. It was a dairy-product-lover’s dream– fresh milk, cheese, ice cream and more. Yum!

In addition, there was a vegetable garden, a birthing barn, and and an educational barn to walk through and learn about the milking process. In the birthing barn we were actually there at the right time to witness the birth of a calf – it was amazing! They also offered bus tours to go out where the cows are actually milked.

Photo by mrs. bennettar

CSA (Produce) Farm

One of the biggest benefits of being a CSA member is knowing exactly where our produce comes from, and the only thing better than that is seeing the fields first-hand. Our farm has an annual tour and farm visit where members walk the fields, pick strawberries, meet the farmer and enjoy a delicious lunch prepared from freshly grown food. Many CSAs even offer opportunities to work on the farm!

Lessons Amidst Fun

It’s always fun for kids to see animals and tractors, but what’s more, by visiting farms, they are given a deeper understanding and appreciation for where our food comes from. Many kids nowadays only know of farms from books and movies– food simply comes from the grocery store.

I love that my daughter knows exactly where her food comes from, that milk comes from cows (and gets made into cheese and ice cream!) and that fruits and vegetables come from the ground or a tree after a farmer has worked very hard to grow them.

Visiting the farm also gives both children and adults a great visual of good stewardship of the earth and its resources. We can learn from farmers how they aim to best take care of their land and reap the best harvest possible or raise the healthiest animals they can.

I look forward to many more farm visits in our family’s future… and lots of fresh berries and ice cream, too.

What kinds of farms have you and your family visited? What unique things have you learned or experienced on the farm?

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15 Comments

  1. Laura @ PARING DOWN

    I am feeling you on the real food and where it comes from. Thanks for a wonderful post (and what a cute hat your sweetie is wearing!)!

  2. Mommylebron

    What fun! We took our kids to a local farm run by the sheriff’s dept. We were able to watch ducklings hatch, piglets nurse, bottle feed a kid and collect eggs!

  3. Rana

    We have made it to a U- pick for strawberries, can’t wait to go back and pick peaches. We also went to a dairy farm. The kids loved it. We hope to take our homeschool group back before summer ends.

  4. Sandra Lee

    We visit our local organic farm. Years ago we use to visit an apple orchard, where they had mini-attractions for youth, like a barn with young barnyard animals. Just love being able to see the rows of vegetables as they grow.

  5. Jaimie

    When we lived in northern California, we frequently visited a working organic farm that had lots of educational programs. I’ll never forget when we went and saw some rescued chickens from an agribusiness side by side with chickens that had been raised free-range and organically from birth. Wow. The difference was incredible.

    Now that we live in Montreal, we haven’t visited any farms recently, but we are welcome to visit the farm that does our CSA for a tour, and we plan to do that later this summer.

    • Nicole

      that farm visit sure sounds enlightening!

  6. Trudy G.

    I live on our family farm so I get to enjoy these types of benefits daily! We have beef cattle so no milking but we definitely have the calves to enjoy. I love growing my own food organically and am sharing that love through a small CSA that I started this year. It’s not all fun and games but it’s worth it to live on one!!!

    • Nicole

      wow, your own CSA, how exciting!

  7. Sofia's Ideas

    This post made me think about a video I watched on another blog (and for the life of me, I now can not find it) that interviewed young children about foods. Many of them could not even recognize the produce shown to them. But chicken nuggets? That, they recognized immediately!

    This is a great post! Thanks so much for sharing! 🙂 And we also love going to our CSA on pick up day! 🙂

  8. Emily @ Live Renewed

    I am discovering (or re-discovering) my love for visiting farms now that I have children that are at the age that they really enjoy it. My mom grew up on a farm in Ohio and I have such great memories of visiting when we were growing up. Now my family and I love to frequent u-pick farms – I love teaching my kids about where food actually comes from – and I hope to visit other types of farms too. I live in Indiana, so I’m curious about the dairy farm you visited, sounds like a great place, I’ll definitely need to look into taking a trip there!

    • Nicole

      it’s called Fair Oaks Farms and I highly recommend it! 🙂 We stopped there on our way from Chicago to our my sister-in-law’s house near Crawfordsville.

  9. jay

    We have the berry farms here in Florida, I can’t wait to go next year. What I do is home dehydration and so I have berries year round. You are teaching your daughter such an great lesson by taking her now. Most kids can tell you where a Big Mac comes from but so many are clueless about fruits and vegetable. So cool what you are teaching your daughter : )

  10. Alissa

    And don’t forget the pumpkin patch in the fall! We love taking our group there – the pumpkins end up being an after thought while the kids are petting the animals, feeding the chickens, and going on the tractor ride!

    • Nicole

      oh, yeah! we love the pumpkin patch, too!

  11. FrazierDebbie20

    I will recommend not to hold off until you get big sum of cash to order goods! You can just get the loan or just term loan and feel free

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