Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Lattin's Country Cider Mill and Farm

We went on a field trip to Lattin's Country Cider Mill and Farm today.  It was our first time there, and the kids enjoyed most of it.  We'll definitely go back there, but not until the weather is cooler and wetter.

Normally you wouldn't hear me talking about wanting cooler, wetter weather for an outdoor field trip, but this place is an exception.  You see, jellowjackets have taken over.  The farm is trying their best to deal with it; there were traps everywhere.  That doesn't help Josh.  He was recently stung by one and is now terrified by them, so he spent the first hour, maybe, crying, screaming, and demanding to go home.  NOW!  That part wasn't fun, but I did finally get him calmed down.

While we waited for the group to assemble, the kids played on some coin-operated horses, some spring horses, and some large, cool trikes.  We wandered around visiting some birds they had; I spent a good portion in one hen house because there weren't any wasps in there.

Once the group was assembled, we were taken into the store and greeted by the farm's leader.  While we were there, we were given dixie cups of cider to taste and freshly made apple cider donuts.  They were yummy!  Josh was still traumatized so he refused to try any.

We were then herded back outside to pet bunnies and get our sacks of feed (each child was given a free sack of animal feed to share with the animals).  Josh calmed down enough to pet a bunny, but was still pretty upset.

Maddie couldn't get enough of the bunnies.

Then we headed to the animals.  We saw peacocks:

They had Indian blue peacocks (what you normally see) and some white peacocks, which are Indian peacocks with their coloring bred out of them.   They are gorgeous birds.  We also saw ducks, chickens, baby chicks, pheasants, and turkeys.

Our guide brought out two recently hatched eggs for the kids to see and lightly touch.  The speckled one on the left is a pheasant egg, and the big one on the right is a peacock egg.

He also brought out a newly hatched chick.  It was only two hours old.

Then we went to a small play area with water pumps that all of the kids enjoyed.  There was a small boat and a small wooden fence maze that was really easy, but fun, for the littles.  During this part, I finally got Josh calmed down enough to enjoy most of the rest of our visit.

Josh loved feeding the goats.  He started to forget about the wasps and enjoyed himself.  Maddie also loved the goats.  They had a tall (probably 12 feet) walkway with ramps on both sides.  Attached to the ramps were small buckets on pulleys that you could put feed in and pull up to the goats on the walk way.  The farm used to have a goat that knew how to pull the buckets up itself.  After the goats, we visited a couple more types of birds and the pigs before reaching the animal train.

I think nearly all of the children were hyped about the train.  Josh was back to being uncomfortable because there were a few wasps in the area, but I ended up telling him that he could go on the train ('cause I'm going) or he could wait for me.  He didn't want to leave my side so he came....and loved it.  Maddie sat on Mika's lap for the ride.  Sam managed to get two rides.

Finally, my favorite photo of the day.  During a pit stop for Josh, I captured this tiny spider headed for these flowers.  It was maybe two millimeters long, including legs.

After our trip, we bought some donuts and apple cider to being home.  We were going to eat lunch at the farm, but we decided that we'd be happier eating it on the way home in the car.  We weren't the only ones who made that decision.  We had at least three kids get stung.

If you are interested in going, they are having Apple Festival starting this weekend and every weekend through October.  We're considering going...later in October when the wasps are gone (we hope).

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