One of my boys’ favorite places in Madison is the nearby Graves Mountain Farm. You’ve probably seen photos from the farm on this blog before, because we are there on a regular basis. I couldn’t let Farm Week pass us by without a proper visit!
We love this farm for a number of reasons. First of all, it’s free. Second of all, the boys can get face-to-face with any of the animals – no large fences or distances in between them. Third, the farmhands are incredibly friendly and they are always willing to let the kids participate in whatever job is being done. We have helped to feed chickens, collect eggs, and move hay on various occasions. I also like that it’s a quiet little place nestled at the foot of the mountains, where there are rarely any other visitors. I don’t have to worry about crowds, my kids being too loud, or traffic. It’s really a relaxing way to spend a morning.
On this particular outing, we were greeted by an 11-year-old boy named William, his twin sister Skye, and their dog, Dixie. William and Skye are on summer vacation from school, so they spend their days helping out with the animals while their mom works at the Graves Mountain Lodge office. William was excited to give us a “tour,” so he instantly took off with Gibbs to show us the animals.
In addition to the animals, Graves Mountain’s farm also includes a Virginia Garden where the kids can see native produce growing.
Casey was very interested in the peanuts today!
We wandered around to greet (and feed) the goats,
the sheep (looking a little funky),
and one of the biggest hogs that I have ever laid eyes on. This picture (from my iPhone) doesn’t do him justice. Even my boys were totally grossed out!
We also went in “The Egg Factory” (otherwise known as the chicken coop),
where the kids checked out the turkeys, hens, and roosters,
and watched the big kids collect some eggs.
We saw the peacocks,
and collected some peacock feather souvenirs. The boys learned how to tell the difference between female feathers (dull) and male feathers (vibrant).
And as fun as these animals were, nothing excited Casey more than watching this loader move sawdust. It was definitely the highlight of his morning (no surprise)!
When we were finished at the farm, we headed across the street to the Graves Mountain Lodge Picnic Pavilion, where we could throw some rocks into this little creek,
and eat our sandwiches on the nearby picnic tables.
It was the perfect way to spend a morning during “farm week!”