The ultimate preschool field trip is a visit to a farm, I think. And this week was a little farm field trip fiesta for me, as I accompanied Will and his pre-K class to Butts Mill Farm, near Pine Mountain, one day, and then the next day brought Owen along on a field trip with the three- and four-year-olds I teach to Marengo Creek Farms in Alabama.
At Butts Mill Farm Will rode a horse for the first time in his life (nervously clutching the saddle so tightly that his knuckles turned white), and he fed some peacocks, goats and pigs. But the highlight of trip for him was playing on the various oversized play equipment. Butts Mill Farm is really more amusement park than farm -- it’s like a petting zoo and pony ride venue crossed with an outdoor Monkey Joe’s-style play environment. Not so bucolic perhaps, but a kid’s paradise. Here I share a couple photos with the animals, but Will’s favorite Butts Mill feature was some big slide.
At Marengo Creek Farms, Owen enjoyed petting baby ducks and baby goats. He found himself a four-year-old female tour guide, who told him about the various chickens, roosters, bunny rabbits, ponies, cows and pigs as they viewed them together. And we enjoyed watching a border collie herding sheep, a white dove release, and took a hayride around the farm, which is now a working sheep farm and a show farm, run by the grandson of a man who once raised pigs and cattle there. If he’d followed strictly in his grandfather’s footsteps, owner Stewart Harvard said, he’d be bankrupt by now.