Thursday, October 8, 2009

Farming adventures (part 1)

One of my parenting goals in the next year is to try to take Sam and Josephine to as many farms as I can. This is in part because I recently wrote an article about it for Charlottesville Tomorrow and the Daily Progress. I want my kids to have a better appreciation of where food comes from, and how people use the land in order to provide for all of us. First up, a trip to the Fall Fiber Festival at Montpelier, where we watched the sheep dog trials.

Josephine had said she was really into sheep dogs before we came, and in the above picture, you can see she was checking out things out for a while. However, as with all little ones, fatigue set in and she got back in the double stroller and began to pout a bit that she wanted to go home.

So, then we got ice cream. Except, Josephine got bored with it after a few bites so I split her cone with Sam, who ended up with a cone and a half! Thankfully, I remembered to bring wipes to clean him up afterwards.

I tried to get a good shot of them with an alpaca, but neither wanted to get too close. There are quite a few alpaca farms, though a friend of mine told me after I saw these guys that so many have gone bust because there's not much of a market for their wool. In hindsight, I should have taken some pictures of the various products made out of alpaca wool.

By far the event of the day for the kids was hanging out in the tent with the angora rabbits. Sam in particular was entranced by the bunnies. I can't wait until they're a little older, when I plan to read them Watership Down. Sam kept saying "rabbits!" over and over again.

In all, we spent about two hours at the festival. They're a bit young to really appreciate much of anything for long, but we had a great time looking at all the different kinds of sheep. I tried to interest Josephine in the people spinning yarn from the wool, but she's a little young. Sam was a bit freaked out by the demonstration of the sheep shearing. So was I, for that matter!

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