Saturday, February 25, 2012

Kids and a sunny day

One of the things that I've always wanted for my boy is for him understand where his found comes from. I need him to know that the supermarket is not the source of what he eats, and, in most cases, shouldn't even be where we get it.

This is one of the reasons I make sure he joins me on my Saturday morning trips to the farmers market. He doesn't see the ultimate source there, but he does see a lot of healthy, real food in one place, along with the people that grow that food.

It's one of the things that motivates me to garden. You can't get much closer to your food than by growing it yourself. And, it's a big reason why I want to raise chickens.

I also bring him berry and apple picking and would like to take as many opportunities as we can to visit farms of all type.

Thanks to the welcoming generosity of David and Liza Porter, and a little cooperation from smiling Mother Nature, we had an amazing visit to Longview Farm on Wednesday morning.

Aside from a short morning walk around Hovey Pond park last week, we haven't spent much time in the fresh air this month. Cold, gray days without snow to brighten things, combined with a busy work schedule, have left me with little motivation to get outdoors.

Then, Saturday, at the Glens Falls Farmers Market, I noticed the chalkboard at the Homestead Artisan's stand said, "Baby goats, schedule your visit." Of course, Bear's three closest friends, their mamas and their siblings would want to join us, and after a few emails it was set.

Although goats don't provide one of our food staples, there really isn't a better way to get kids excited about a farm visit than babies animals of any sort. Besides we do love the chevre, feta and other cheeses that come from the Longview goats, and we've eaten many chickens that were raised there. So, we were going to one of our food sources.

And, we got to enjoy fresh air and sunshine for the first time in too many weeks.

When we arrived at the farm we were welcomed by David, Liza, their part time employee, David, a cat and many chickens. It look just a minute to convince the kids that the cat and the chickens were not the highlight, so we could head to the barns to see the mama goats and the babies that stayed with them.

Buddy, a neutered male, who was bottle fed after he was born last year, craved human attention, and was a bit of a camera hog.

While at the main barn, we also got to meet one of the new babies, but it didn't take long for her mama to miss her and ask for to come back.

After the adults asked many questions, and the kids were sufficiently excited about the kids, we went down to smaller barn to see the bottle babies.
These little guys are a little confused about who their mother is, but we didn't mind.

Each of our kids got to take a turn in the pen with the babies.

Most of them even had a chance to try to feed the goats, which we learned is a bit challenging for three-year-olds. Apparantly, it is not instinctive for the babies to drink their milk so that it goes into the right stomach. If a goat doesn't have its head tilted correctly, the milk will go into the wrong stomach and they will not be able to digest it.

I'm a bit afraid that those goats did get much milk they could digest during that particular feeding. Fortunate for those babies, the Porter's appear to be doting parents, who will certainly make sure their babies get the nourishment they need.

After we were finished playing with the kids, we finally let our children have a little time chasing chickens. And, some eggs were collected.

A couple of the moms were smart enough to ask to purchase eggs, and my boy and I were sent home with a few. He was so excited about collecting and cleaning egg, and putting them right in the carton, he asked if he could have one on the way home in the car. Thankfully, it wasn't too difficult to convince he that we should wait until we got home and could cook the eggs.

To complete our beautiful morning, we had a lunch of the freshest eggs I've ever eaten, scrambled with feta made on the same farm. Aside from raising it yourself, you really can't get closer to your food than that.