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The Farm Tour

Our favorite part of owning our farm is welcoming guests. While most spend the night, we have many people who come for an hour-long private farm tour. It’s always fun introducing others to our hydroponic growing operation and our sweet animals, but we especially enjoy it when we get to host young children.

Since kids are usually more interested in the livestock than the plants, we begin the tour with our hydroponic towers. We gauge the length of time we spend and how in depth we go depending on the interest level of the youngest child. We like to make it a tactile experience - letting them pick and taste an edible flower or tomato growing on the vine.

We talk about the peach orchard and our plans to add other fruit trees in the coming years before beginning to walk back to the animals. We pass two ponds and explain that they are in fact called “tanks,” since they’re used for agricultural purposes.

As we walk, we talk about our livestock guardians. If the children stayed in one of our glamping tents, chances are they’ve already met Ruth, Daphne and Samson. We explain that Ruth and Daphne, our two donkeys, protect all the animals on the farm, not because they like them so much, but because donkeys intuitively stand their ground. Samson, our Great Pyrenees, who is nocturnal, barks to let coyotes know that he’s on the property. For those kids who glamped the previous night, they will often let us know that he barked a few times during the night and that he stayed close by their tent. They really like that.

Then we move on to talk about our KuneKune pigs. This is usually their favorite part of the tour, probably because we let children help feed the pigs and sometimes help move them to their grazing area. Kids like carrying the feed bucket and following Mr. Houston to the grazing area with the piglets squealing the entire way. We also share a bit about our Rouen ducks and our laying hens. There have even been children who’ve carried a chicken around during the whole tour.

As we wrap up our time together in the outdoor venue, we talk with the adults about our farm to table dinners and plans for outdoor weddings and social and corporate events. Meanwhile, the children often run ahead to the large tree swing attached to one of the ancient oaks.

Parents frequently share their photos from the tour with us. One mom captured her six year old daughter in overalls and pink rubber boots, with a very serious expression, carrying the feed bucket to the pigs’ pen. Today, as I look at that picture, I realize the reminiscing is almost as much fun as the tour itself.

This piece first appeared in Sherry’s column, “Finding Myself in a Small Town,” in the November 13, 2021 edition of the Corsicana Daily Sun.

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