Thursday, October 18, 2007

Visit to Harvest Valley Farms

I was so excited. The day I had waited for was finally here. We were going on a field trip to the pumpkin patch. I think I was as excited as my four year old, as we went to visit Harvest Valley Farms with her preschool. They do church group and preschool visits during the week and are open to the public on the weekends. Another mom and her son joined my son and me (carpooling, gotta love it) on the 40 minute trip north on Route 8 so that we could accompany the class. We drove past nursery after nursery on our way to this farm and passed signs for many others.
The kids' visit began with the "farmer's wife" Kathy King talking to the kids about what they grow on the farm. She introduced all the different kinds of vegetables and all the different kinds of pumpkins (like little gourds, white ones, pie pumpkins, cinderella pumpkins, etc.) and told them how to pick a pumpkin. Then she and her son (David, one of the owners of the farm) split the kids up. Half went to the pumpkin patch to pick a pumpkin (they picked pie pumpkins) and the other half went to see the animals. They have chicks, sheep, pigs, donkeys and ponies. Then they switched.
I was glad to see where all of our vegetables have been coming from. I also got the answer to a burning question. . . is Art King (Kathy's husband) any relation to Joseph King who also sells at the East Liberty Market? Yes. Indeed, Kathy told me. Joseph and Art (and Larry, the other owner) are first cousins. Their fathers were brothers. Yes, they are related, but Kathy told me they have very different farming practices. Kathy wasn't giving any details. A friendly family rivalry perhaps?
Here are the crates all getting ready to be packed. Incidentally, we picked ours up today. Peppers, tomatoes, apples, pears, sweet potatoes, spaghetti squash, onions and a ginormous daikon radish. Not sure what I'm going to do with that. Probably wrap it up in plastic and keep it (Art said in the newsletter that it would keep for several weeks) for my radish loving sister who's coming to visit in three weeks. I'll bring the salt shaker with me on the way to the airport. But I digress.

It is a beautiful working farm owned by very nice, smart farmers. No "boo barn" or pumpkin people. But I sure enjoyed it.

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