Saturday’s weather was lovely, so our family was excited to get in the car and take a little trip over to the Vernon Family Farm in Newfields. I had never been out there and was looking forward to getting a tour and popping into their farm store. We had a great time! Here’s a little bit about what we learned. I also want to add that our family felt extremely safe from a Covid-perspective, and we tend to be on the cautious side of things. Everyone was masked, distanced and respectful. It felt like a win-win for all.
When we arrived, we met the owner, farmer Jeremiah, and he gave us a 30 minute tour. I didn’t know too much about the place and learned that it’s a working farm that mostly specializes in livestock. I think that can be a hard pill to swallow for some, and my nine year old asked “so you raise the animals and then you kill them?” To which Jeremiah honestly replied, “yes, but we are kind to them while they’re here.” That can be a sobering reality check, but it’s the truth if you’re a meat eater. While I have mixed feelings about eating meat, it’s something that I reluctantly do regularly. So I therefore think it’s important to be honest about how and where we get our meat, and also support small farms who are raising the animals kindly, respectfully and in tandem with the Earth. I’ve been working really hard on focusing on buying from local places rather than the supermarket. It can be more expensive, but if you focus on quality, rather than quantity (perhaps this means cutting back a little), I think you’ll find that your budget remains more or less the same.
We walked around the farm and met various animals, including some adorable pregnant ewe, their guard llama and tons and tons of chicken. My girls enjoyed feeding the animals and got to hold a chicken! We also learned about the farm’s processes, how they raise the animals, care for them when sick and which purpose each one serves. For example, the current sheep are there to reproduce, some chickens lay eggs and others become meat. It was also fun to show the girls smaller solar panels and talk about alternate forms of electricity.
At the end, we said goodbye and then had a really great time shopping in the store. So many local products and treats, including baked goods, tons of seasonal veggies and a variety of meat, including their own. We spent about an hour total at the farm and walked away with fresh air in our bodies, sunlight on our faces, a trunk load of grocery goodies and some new knowledge about how and where some of our food is raised. It was an educational and fun experience. Really recommend! – Rachel