Oh, what an incredible day this day has been! Our homeschool group had a field trip today to Dewberry Farm. I've wanted to go for a few years now but have never been. And let me say this, we've been missing out!
Our day at Dewberry Farm started with a wonderful hay ride (minus the hay, thankfully). We missed the first tractor that had the majority of our group thanks to my fantastic directional disability! Yeah, I got lost, what's new? It doesn't matter if I travel with Miss. GPS (which I didn't) or with printed directions (which I did), I could get lost trying to find my own house! But I digress.
Where was I? Ha! Get it? Where was I? I don't know! Okay, enough about my directionally challenged self and back to Dewberry Farm! After a short wait for the second tractor we were on our way with Farmer Dewberry himself as our driver and guide. See? Sometimes it pays to be late!
Farmer Dewberry was a great guide as he carefully drove us around the farm. We rode out to the 16 acre pumpkin patch where we found out the patch didn't do too well this year thanks to all the rain Mother Nature dumped on us not too long ago. So, we didn't get to see all the pumpkins that they've had in previous years but it was still a lot of fun. And, there were enough of the tiny pumpkins in the field to last the groups that came out today. Unfortunately the groups that come in after today will have to pick out a pumpkin that wasn't grown on Dewberry Farm. Yet, even though that's not ideal, at least their desire for every kid to have the opportunity to walk through a pumpkin patch to pick out a pumpkin is very commendable! I'm impressed by that kind of thinking and I appreciate the effort that takes.
We found out on our hay-less hay ride that Dewberry is now branching out into Christmas tree farming. Get it? Branching? I'm on FIRE people!!! Oh, bless you for sticking with me so far! Anyway, they are growing several different types of Christmas trees. I wish I could name all of them for you but it was early in the morning and my brain was pretty much still asleep. I do remember though that the trees are on the back 40 acres of land. They have a massive irrigation process and even with the distance from our tractor to the actual tress, we could easily see that the trees were beautiful. Gregg is wanting a fresh/real tree this year and I would love to buy it from Farmer Dewberry.
With all this chatter about farming let me assure you that that's not all they do at Dewberry! Granted, much of the land is farm related but there's nothing boring about it. There is a fantastic playground called Fort DewHickey that has a great variety of rope walks, slides, levels to climb, and so forth. One of Violet's favorites was something called The Flinger! It's housed under a giant pavilion and is basically a mountain of hay bales that the kids can climb. But here's the kicker. They have rope swings that they can use to get air borne and fly up in to the air. The only drawback to that though is if your kid doesn't understand the concept of gravity and let's go of her rope when she's over five feet in the air.
And she falls. A. Direct. Face. Plant. Into the hay. And her mother's heart did the same dive of terror as I watched her. With a few "ouches" and "I'm okays" the next words that Violet uttered was, "I didn't eat the hay Momma!" Woo hoo for not eating the hay baby girl, now, is your spleen in the right space? What about your brain? Did it drop into your stomach? After a quick inspection of my precious, yet very clumsy child, I determined that she was okay. And with that quick assessment she was off to the next adventure. Away we go!
After a brief lunch we took off in another direction. We had farm animals to meet. The most adorable farm animals I've ever seen. Goats, chickens, ducks, geese, miniature donkeys, a couple of cows, a few baby piglets, and even some cute little bunnies. Violet's favorite animals were the goats and mini donkeys. They were the most social out of the bunch. Her least favorite were the geese. They were cranky birds and would honk at you if you got within five feet of their space. Very cranky, antisocial geese! But they sure were pretty to look at. And, those honks of warnings were actually pretty funny to listen to after a while. Which, of course, lessened the fear factor that was attached with them. Still, just to be safe, we kept a wide berth of the geese. I've been chased by a goose before and I didn't want my child to suffer the same trauma. Besides, it would have looked really bad if I thew her in the way of the geese and I took off running in the opposite direction, right? Yeah, that's what I thought too.
Okay, I really wouldn't have tossed my daughter to the geese. But I may have thought about it for a second or two before I would lay myself down as the sacrificial lamb so that my daughter escaped a horrible experience of being pecked to death by some vicious geese! I'm a good mom like that!
We ended our visit at Dewberry Farm with their 4 acre Corn Maze. Yeah, me. The one who is severely directionally challenged! So, how well do you think this little escapade turned out? You guessed it! I got lost. And not only did I get lost, I got my group lost. Why can't I just be a follower? Really, it would be so much easier. After walking through the maze of corn for about 30 minutes we found our way out. We ended up right back at the beginning! Hey! At least we made it out!
There is so much to see and do at Dewberry Farm that it was impossible for us to fit it all in one day. We're fortunate enough to be able to go back for another visit next month thanks to a dear friend's sweet gift. Needless to say, we're looking forward to our next visit! And no, I'm not getting paid by Dewberry Farm for this fantastic review of their program. They don't know me. Yet!
So folks, if you live within an hour or two of Dewberry Farm, I would highly suggest that you take a little country drive and head out there. Enjoy some good old fashioned fun with your kids. Let them run around. Let the make memories of being on an actual working farm. Let them wear themselves out! And be sure to take plenty of water with you because you will find yourself thirsty. Also, if you want to buy a small jar of their all natural, locally produced honey that is grown right on the farm, you may want to buy it as soon as you get there. I was really bummed out when they didn't have any left at the end of the day. (Note to self: Buy honey immediately and take it back to the car!)