|All Photos by the talented Lucy.|
Which made a family field trip to Fields of Athenry Farm the perfect idea.
We've been going to this farm for all our meat for several years now. I love it. So much.
The drive there is so gorgeous--I spend the whole time in the car waxing poetic about how we should move to the country and have a little farm (Matt spends the whole time smiling and nodding and silently thinking I'm crazy). The farm itself is charming and lively and the shop is filled with so many delicious meats, cheeses, jams, wines, and other treats that we always, ALWAYS buy way more than we intended. (And we're always glad we did in the end.) The owner, Elaine, is so sweet and helpful and completely passionate about what she does and why. And she's so knowledgeable and happy to share her knowledge.
Matt's cousin Lucy met us there, so we were lucky enough to not only spend time with one of our faves, but to also have our very own personal photographer along for the trip. (Which is why the photos here are beautiful--I didn't take them!)
After we shop, we walk the farm, which is my favorite part. I love that everything is transparent--the farmers WANT you to see where your food came from. They WANT you to know that the animals were raised humanely and treated kindly and cared for, and that nature and natural rhythms takes precedence. They WANT you to see the sheep and the ducks and the turkeys and Steve the Alpaca. They love answering questions and letting you help feed the animals. It's amazing how beautiful it is.
|This is Steve the Alpaca. Q absolutely loves this guy!|
Q had a weird meltdown when we first started walking through the farm because there was poop all over the ground. (It IS a farm, and with a farm comes poop.) Even though he's been there a dozen times and never cared before, he freaked this time and wanted to be carried. Elaine kindly took a moment (in the middle of feeding the sheep) to chat with him and tell him he could wash his shoes off in the sink at the shop when he was done, and that did the trick.
On the far side of the animals' pens, we walked down the hill to a beautiful, icy creek and took a little hike through the woods. It was something I think we all needed and didn't even realize it--everyone was just glad to be outside and running around and exploring.
Despite the snow and ice on the ground, it wasn't even very cold out--in the mid-40s, and when you're hiking and running and playing, that seems plenty warm.
If you live anywhere near enough to make the drive to Fields of Athenry Farm, you should totally go. If you do, tell Steve the Alpaca we say hi.