Friday, October 17, 2014

Agri-tourists Part 3 of 3: PWC Farm Tour

Once I finally got back to blogging, I decided to title this series of posts "agri-tourists", since most of our October adventures have fit this theme.  I think it is so funny that we end up paying money to go place and do things (like hay rides) that were easily free amusements when I grew up in the country.  It's kind of my dream to one day own and run a place that could be considered as an agritourism stop... we'll see what ever comes of that.

 This activity though, the Prince William County Farm Tour, was (almost) completely free.  Every year, several farms/historical agricultural experiences in our county open up their places to visitors during farm tour weekend.  (Saturday 10-4 or Sunday 12-4) I'll go ahead and take you through the tour stop-by-stop.

We went on Sunday after church, so we only had a few hours for our tour.  We started closest to our end of the county.

Stop 1:   Evergreen Acres.  Ok, so we had to actually skip this one because of time and distance.  We've actually been here before though (see this old post) to get our Christmas tree.  Had we gone, we could have taken a wagon ride to view the trees and pumpkin patch.  They also grow tomatoes here.

Stop 2:  Brentsville Courthouse Historic Centre.   Here we visited the restored Haislip-Hall Farmhouse and got to learn about farm life in the 1800s.  Theo and I tried a bit of corn pone that was being cooked, Eli took a walk in the woods, and Theo dipped his own candle and heard all about soap making.

Stop 3:  Yankey Farms.   One thing I really like about the idea of this tour is just seeing some of the farms in a different season.  We've been to Yankey Farms before to pick strawberries (link), but this time they had their pumpkin patch and harvest festival activities going.  We viewed their antique tractor display (Theo liked the red one best) and learned about beekeeping.  The boys even watched two bees drag a now-useless drone from the hive to get rid of him.  Harsh life bees have.  They were fascinated by this.

We paid a couple bucks each to let the boys pick an activity-Theo played in the corn pit and hay bales, while Eli took a very long, far (for a two year old) ride on the cow train.  We didn't realize it would go so far, but he did well.  They had special seats for little guys, so he was strapped in.

Stop 4:  Blue top Farm.  We found where horse country is in our county, as there were many other horse farms around this particular boarding facility.  We stopped quickly to meet all the horses, as well as the chickens and goats.

Stop 5:  Clover Meadow Farms.  This may have been my favorite spot of the day.  We got to wonder around with the alpacas at this farm.  There is just something so enchanting in these large, but gentle animals.

This photo just cracked me up, because it perfectly illustrates our newly two year old.  He's craving independence ferociously right now.

Stop 6:  Winery at La Grange.  We made sure to finish up the tour here, since it is the only established winery in PWC.  We didn't do a tasting this day, but enjoyed touring the property and making plans for a future visit.

Stop 7:  TrueFarms.  We ran out of time for this one, but you could also tour a hydroponics lettuce farm in Haymarket.

Stop 8:  Ben Lomand Historic Site.  Again, out of time, but like our first site it provided a look at farm life in the early 18th and 19th centuries. 

We definitely enjoyed the day driving around and learning more about our little corner of the world we live in, and the boys were happy to get down and dirty with all the animals.  And next week, we get to go back to Cows 'n Corn with Theodore's class.  Click here to read about this adventure from last year.  You know I've already got their pumpkin hats and overalls all laid out.

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