Today, we hosted the first Farm Tour of the season! After a long, quiet winter it's always so fun to welcome groups of kids and adults back to the farm! These groups ignite our passion for what we do and rejuvenate our desire to share the farm with Missoula! To see the kids' faces light up when they hear the turkeys gobble at them or the pigs snort at them just makes our hearts sing!
This mornings group was a group of 15 preschoolers with their teacher and parents. While this age is always challenging to keep their attention, it is also one of the funnest because it doesn't take much for them to squeal in delight at the simplest things! This morning I brought out a dozen chicken eggs along with a turkey and goose egg. I love letting the kids touch and feel the eggs...something they are usually not allowed to do at home but I want them to use all their senses when they are on the farm! Holding an egg is surprisingly one of those things the kids love to do and fight to get in line first! I love that it's the simple things which delight the kids!
While we tour the farm and look at all the animals, I also love giving the kids the opportunity to feed the animals. Whether it's a handful of hay, an apple or today it was old pears, they just love to toss the animals something and watch them eat it! Again, the simple things in life tend to bring the most joy!
With spring tours, we are lucky enough to have some baby animals around. Today the kids got to see the two young lambs we have, the pigs who are 3 months old and then the big excitement were the baby chicks! I love having the kids sit in a circle in the grass and then I bring them each a chick to hold. For many, it is their first time and they are nervous and reluctant but for a few it is old hat and they are comfortable. During today's tour, there was a very young, petite little girl who took her chick and and sat down with a sweet smile on her face. That chick just nestled down in her wee little hands and was lulled to sleep. It was the cutest darn thing! What always, secretly, makes me giggle is when the rough and tough boys are being handed a chick and at the last minute they pull their hands away and decide they don't want to hold it!
We will welcome hundreds of people this year as they pass through our gates for field trips and farm tours. Our hope is that they leave knowing two things: 1) Anyone can farm or raise their own food--whether it's raising meat animals or whether it's a tomato plant in a pot on your porch! And the other thing we want people to learn from our farm tours is how important it is to preserve local agricultural land and to support local farms! We want people to always have access to local food and a chance to experience farm life close to town, so we stress the importance of preservation today for the sake of tomorrow!!
If you are interested in one of our farm tours, please check out the tab on our website under Farm Tours and then contact us to schedule a time. We do tours for all ages during the spring, summer and fall. (Spring and Fall are the most popular!)