Sunday, October 12, 2008

Grant Farms Harvestival

After we got both sets of mattress pads, bed sheets, and comforters in the wash this morning (see previous post), we took off for Grant Farms up in Wellington, Colorado. Wellington is about thirty miles south of Cheyenne, so it was quite a drive for us. It took us a little over two hours to get there. Listening to the unceasing chatter in the backseat made me wonder whether the drive would be worth it, but once we arrived at the farm the drive was pretty much forgotten.

Grant Farms is a large family-run organic farm. They raise just about every vegetable that can be grown in Colorado, shipping some off to grocery stores like Whole Foods but also sharing the wealth with their local community through the CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program. I am positively giddy about our CSA and cannot recommend the program more highly. Seriously, if you live in a place where a CSA is available (and you probably do), you should really try the program out. Here's a link to our CSA in case you are interested in finding out more about how CSAs work.

Today was Grant Farms' harvest festival. In our CSA box last week we got a flier about the festival along with a 22 oz beer made by Fort Collins Brewery specifically for Grant Farms, plus several tokens for free beers and pumpkins at the harvest festival. We were already planning to go, but with the added motivation of free beer and pumpkins, even the chilly sub-fifty degree weather couldn't keep us away.

In addition to getting a tour of the farm from the back of a tractor, we had a chance to meet our meat (the turkeys, chickens, ducks, geese, and lambs who may be gracing our freezer in a few weeks). We also got to taste several local beers, challenge ourselves (and our apparently claustrophobic dog) with a straw-bale maze, listen to a few bands, and get the girls' faces painted.

Libbie made the trek to the farm with us. I was a little nervous about taking her, just because of her propensity to chase both wild and domestic animals. I was afraid that somehow her leash would get away from one of us and before I could even get close to catching her, she'd be shaking some poor little chicken by the neck. Apparently my fears were well-founded, although she never got away from us. She is a very well trained dog...when there are no distractions. For her, food or potential food are distractions. Even a good game of chase can be a distraction. When I took her near the animal barn, she whined and pulled on the leash like crazy. This is a dog who rarely vocalizes anything and almost never whines. But there was this little black chicken who somehow had gotten out of the chicken coop. And as long as she was watching that little black chicken running around outside the chicken coop, the whining continued. Even looking at the ewes and lambs made her whine. If you only could have seen the look one of the ewes was giving her...that ewe was serious about protecting her babies and would have clobbered Libbie if Libbie had been loose.

While we were on our tractor ride around the farm, we passed more groups of animals. Libbie smelled them before she saw them and she perked up her ears, looking like a dog ready to drag home dinner for her family. Then she started shaking. Not kidding...shaking. Not really pulling on the leash, just shaking. I don't think it was a nervous our scared shake, I think it was an excited shake. Oh, if she had been off leash...lots of dead chickens. Oh the carnage she could have caused. All I can say is it's a good thing we don't live near a farm. While all of this was going on, there were several farm dogs sitting quietly in the backs of pickup trucks and another hanging out on the tractor ride with us. They were all off leash and they couldn't have cared less about the farm animals. Maybe Libbie would be like that if she had been raised on a farm, but it's really hard for me to imagine.

I've posted a bunch of Harvestival photos to our Picasa account. Click on the photo at the top of the page to see them all.

1 comment:

Michael said...

i yearn for sub-fifty degree weather!! This week's highs are 86, 87, and 87.

We went to a pumpkin patch this weekend too and decided to leave the dogs at home. We figured the same thing would have happened. Maybe the farm dogs were calm and carefree because they had already tried to get themselves a chicken... im guessing their failures have made them indifferent.