Tag Archives: farm

A Vist to Kangaroo Creek Farm

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It took us a while, but we finally made it to the Kangaroo Creek Farm in Winfield today.  It’s been on our radar since visiting the zebra farm last summer, and I’m so glad we snuck it in before leaving.  

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The farm, which feels as rural as can be, is {sort of surprisingly} tucked in right behind the A&W when driving through Winfield on Highway 97.  We arrived early this morning, found a free parking spot on the road above, and headed down the long driveway excited to see our first ‘roo.  After making our donation (the farm works on an honour-based donation system), we entered the kangaroo enclosure and immediately ran into this little guy.  

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At first, Miss G, our little animal lover, was quite apprehensive and didn’t want to go near the ‘roos, but in a few minutes time, this was her…  Loving on the animals in true Gracen style.  Perhaps a wee bit too comfortable!

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It was very neat to be able to wander around an open enclosure with the kangaroos, but without a doubt, Gracen’s favourite part was holding the babies.

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We lined up not once, but three separate times to do so.  Each time, Grae patiently waited the 10 or 15 minutes it took to get to the front, then hopped up on an empty chair, and waited another few minutes until she was passed a tiny ‘roo in a terry towel pouch.

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While some of the babies were {understandably} pretty sleepy, others were quite alert and enjoyed sniffing and interacting with her (one even began nibbling on the lace collar of her dress!)

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True to her very nurturing personality, she was super kind and gentle with each one.  She’d run her cheek along the fur on their heads, greet them with a warm and soft ‘hello’, and tell them that they were ‘good little baby kangaroos’ and that she loved them sooo much.

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We really enjoyed our morning spent with kangaroos.  It was a totally unique experience and I loved how informal and non-commercial it all felt.

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Miss G loved it too.  So much so, that as we were driving out of Winfield (not 2 minutes from the farm), she excitedly proposed, “I have an idea!  How about after my sleep we come back to the kangaroo farm for ANOTHER visit!”

Next summer for sure, Miss G.  Next summer…

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Farm Life {Through my New Lens}

One of the things I was spoiled with on my recent birthday was a camera lens I’ve been lusting after for a long while now.  Though I’ve only had it a few hours, I must say – I think I’m already in love!  I took it along on a walk of the family farm tonight and here are some of the images I was able to snap…

IMG 9789IMG 9815IMG 9796IMG 9798IMG 9808IMG 9806IMG 9821IMG 9818IMG 9830IMG 9836IMG 9848As far as my new challenge goes, I have to say I’m loving it!  My camera has remained in manual mode since the day of our workshop and every single photo I’ve taken since this post has been shot manually.  They certainly haven’t all been good (in fact many have been pitch black), but after two months of practice, I can say without a doubt that I’m so glad I took the leap.  My photos are slowly getting better, shooting in manual is much more natural now, and I have a ton more control on what my photos actually turn out like.  And I can almost guarantee that this new lens will make the transition that much more fun.

♥ 

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“Reindeer” Food

IMG 4182IMG 4183IMG 4187Afternoon walks with Grandma Charlotte have become a routine around here… Each day, G returns with a lapful of hay for ‘Santa’s reindeer’ (a white-tailed doe and her fawn) and sets it out on the snow-covered lawn so we can watch them eat it up in the evenings.

Just one of the perks of being out in the country…

♥ 

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iPhoneography // Thanksgiving Saturday at Davison Orchards

Thanksgiving SaturdayWhen I told Gracen that we would be headed to the Okanagan for the weekend, she immediately exclaimed that she was excited and started listing off all of the things she wanted to do while there, one of which was “Old MacDonald’s Farm”.  Confused, I asked her what she meant.  Her response? “Old MacDonald’s Farm – apple treat drink!”  Such a funny little thing.  With that, I knew she actually meant Davison Orchards, home of the appleanche (a pure apple slushy drink we let her try this summer).  

So this morning, after a little sleep in for Brad and I and a  little play for Grae, Manmaw, and Poppop, my girl and I headed into Vernon for a Davison visit. The orchard was extra beautiful today… sunshiny, packed with pumpkins, and sprinkled with autumn displays. Gracen loved every minute as always, and thought the pumpkin people were especially funny.

“thankful” // first stop: animals

goat feeding

donkey love

greedy sheep // corn barn

farmer grae // climb

corn maze // pumpkin family

sunshine // hoedown

Photos edited with Instagram. Find me under jkossowan.

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Southlands Country Fair

Today, my munchkin and I escaped to a little piece of rural paradise, right here in the city of Vancouver.  We spent our day out at Southlands Riding Club (just off of SW Marine Drive), at their annual Country Fair and it certainly did not disappoint.  The fair, which raises money to support the club, as well as their summer riding program for underprivileged children and two other local charities that run programs for disabled riders, was wonderful… The perfect way to spend a day with little ones, really.  Besides horse entertainment and demonstrations all day long, there were pony rides, hay rides, a petting farm, a vendors’ market filled with local goods, musical entertainment,  a huge farm yard fun area bursting with old-fashioned activities for little ones, and more.  Grae and I arrived in time for opening, stayed well past her usual nap time, and could have stayed for at least two hours more.  

Without a doubt, the highlight of the day was the pony rides (and not just for Grae – it seems most families felt the same way).  Though I’d read about how busy the pony ride area was in years past, I thought Southlands had a great system this time around.  Basically, you visited a booth to sign up for your pony ride time slots, then went about your day and reported to the ring only once it was your designated time. Because the line was only for time selections, it moved fairly quickly despite its length.  Luckily, I thought ahead and signed up for two time slots {an hour apart}, guessing that Gracen would love her first horse riding experience and want to go again.  And thank goodness I did.  The first thing out of her mouth after getting off her pony was, “More pony riding?”

Here’s a look at our day in photos…

IMG 9644First pony ride.

IMG 9647Wee cowgirl on a wee pony.

IMG 9652Puppy dog face.

IMG 9666Goats need hugs too.

IMG 9675‘Hello piggy!’

IMG 9681Back to the riding ring.

IMG 9684On the ‘BIIIIG’ pony, as requested.

IMG 9695Doesn’t get much better.

IMG 9696Cowgirl Grae.

IMG 9700Tractor driving.

IMG 9710Bouncy horse!

IMG 9713A giant sensory pit… the hay pile.

IMG 9719Yay for hay.

IMG 9725Ahhh… Comfy.

IMG 9728Future firefighter?

 

What a day.  I’m not sure who had more fun… But one thing is for sure, we’ll definitely be back next year.

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Zebras at Raw Hide Ridge Ranch

When I heard that there was a zebra farm right here in the teeny tiny town of Lumby (the town that is so small that it’s technically a village), I didn’t really believe it. Zebras, like the ones from Africa, right here in LUMBY? Sure enough, my good friend, Google, confirmed the story. Rawhide Ridge Ranch, located just 25 minutes outside of downtown Lumby (towards Mabel Lake), is not only home to four zebras. but it’s home to turkeys, cows, horses, sheep, chickens, coy, and bison too.

Curious to see what zebras living in Lumby looked like, and knowing Gracen’s love of animals, we picked a day and  booked a ranch tour. 

IMG 7379Today, we arrived to the ranch to meet James, one of the farm’s hosts, a big friendly rottie named Max, and this sweet little calf named Sophie. 

IMG 7371Gracen wasted no time and wanted to go over and say hello to Sophie right away.

IMG 7381Our host, James, was wonderful. He was super friendly, truly excited to tell us all about the farm, and very mindful of the fact that we had a {soon-to-be} two year old with us.  He even brought out a bottle of milk for Gracen to feed Sophie.

IMG 7373IMG 7383We spent the first part of our tour oohing over Sophie and this one week old foal, named Sky.

IMG 7384After a quick trip to the pond to admire the gorgeous water lilies and lily pads, it was off to the barn to meet a mystery animal named Tom.

IMG 7390Turned out that Tom was a giant, friendly turkey who roams freely around the ranch.

IMG 7396Such a funny looking guy – and with a personality to match.

IMG 7393We hung out in the barn for a while and visited with the other birds, and then it was time to be on our way.

IMG 7402Next stop – the fish! Strangely enough, this was one of Grae’s very favourite parts of tour (most likely because James gave her the job of feeding some of them).

IMG 7406IMG 7413IMG 7417It wasn’t easy, but when we finally convinced Grae to leave the fish, we headed down to the field to find Lucky, a very friendly ram who happily walks on a rope and visits with guests.  We petted him, learned about what to do if he ever puts his head down and looks as though he might charge at you, and some of us (not me!) were even brave enough to try playing a butting game with him.

IMG 7420Then it was off to see the farm”s highlight… The zebras.

IMG 7429IMG 7430IMG 7433IMG 7436When we got up to their enclosure, they were all the way at the very back of it near the forest, so James went in, rounded them up, and got them to come towards us.  The four of them, including 3 mares (2 of which are currently pregnant) and one stallion, came right up to the fence to let us admire them. They were beautiful and it was really cool to see zebras happily living in this sort of setting, rather than in a zoo.  We learned all about zebra behaviours and even got to witness Apollo, the dominate stallion, keeping the herd close together by nipping the rump of one of his female counterparts.

IMG 7443After a visit to the bison herd, that was our tour. We stopped to see the fish again, visited the beautifully rustic guest house that can be rented out much like a bed and breakfast, said goodbye to Tom, and left with a dozen free-range eggs and Grandma Charlotte’s name on the list for an all-natural free-range Christmas turkey.

We had such a good time at Rawhide Ridge Ranch that I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to visit a real, working farm. 

Rawhide Ridge Guest Ranch is located on Siglet Road in Lumby, BC. Contact them at 250-547-2525 or at rawhideridge@gmail.com to book a tour. Tours are $10 for adults, $5 for children, free for munchkins 4 and under and can be booked from April 1st to October 31st.

 
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iPhoneography // Farm Life

Farm GirlOne of Gracen’s very favourite farm activities… Cow watching.

Taken with Instagram. Find me under jkossowan.

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A Vernon Favourite: Davison Orchards

Those who really know me, know my love for Davison Orchards. I love everything about it – the grown on site produce, the fresh-pressed apple juice, the unique gifts found in the country market, the fact that it’s family run… I could go on and on. It’s just such a quaint, feel good place to visit. And the best thing is that it seems to be getting better and better with time. 

Since our vacation has been a little wet these last couple of days, we decided we’d make the most out of our dry morning, and headed into Vernon to visit my favourite spot. Gracen loved it.  We did spend some time at Davison’s last summer, but Gracen was only 10 or 11 months old then…still a baby.  This time was different. She was big enough to run around the orchard, take full advantage of the play ground, and feed and pet the animals…grown enough to take it all in.

IMG 5594Our first stop was the playground.  Gracen was beyond excited to ride the tractor, play on the tire horses, and zoom down the slide.  In fact, she was having such a blast that it was hard to pull her away in order to go and check out the rest of the orchard.IMG 5575IMG 5580IMG 5704With the promise of seeing animals, our little animal lover followed us up the hill into the orchard.  And she was very pleased she did.  We saw rabbits, chickens, goats, sheep, and a donkey.  Not only did she get to see the animals, but she also got to pet and feed some of them too. Her favourite part was retrieving the food from the dispenser, carefully placing it in the cup, and turning the wheel to send the treats up to the greedy goat waiting on the bridge above head. And although she was a little apprehensive, she even fed one of the goats by hand.
IMG 5595IMG 5601IMG 5618IMG 5610IMG 5614IMG 5617IMG 5620IMG 5623IMG 5635IMG 5632IMG 5634Next, we headed to the Kids Corral – a newer addition to the farm.  It was awesome.  Giant slides, a plasma car track, duck racing lanes, and a huge sandpit (complete with real tractors and an old truck) were just part of the fun.  There was also a teepee to hide in, a corn maze to make your way through, a tree house perfect for enjoying the view, and a cow bell ringing station for those wanting to make some noise. The coolest part though? The biggest sensory bin I’ve ever seen (and you know I love me a good sensory bin).  It was actually a shed filled with dried corn, shovels, and tractors… Amazing!  
IMG 5637IMG 5646IMG 5652IMG 5653IMG 5657IMG 5670IMG 5675IMG 5678IMG 5680IMG 5689IMG 5691IMG 5701The best part is that we’re hoping to do another visit next weekend when my brother, sister-in-law, and all of Miss G’s cousins arrive.  Can’t wait. It’s sure to be quadruple the fun {and quadruple the craziness!}

Family tree ♥

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Maplewood Farm Visit

I had planned to sub today, but late last night, we decided that I’d skip what would have been my final work day this school year, and we’d head over the bridge to North Van as a family instead.  And I’m so glad we did.  With me working the weekdays that Brad has off, our one day a week as a family often becomes a ‘to do day’ instead of a day to get out, do something fun, and enjoy one another’s company.

A trip to Maplewood Farm as a family was just what we needed.  The sun shone all day, we all had a blast, and Gracen got to show her Papa all of her animal friends she met on our last visit.  We brought along with us a picnic lunch, a bag of bird seed, and by recommendation of North Shore Mama, some fresh mint for the rabbits (best tip ever seeing as the rabbits are so well fed that they turn away carrots and lettuce left and right, but gobbled up our mint leaves!)

Ooh!  And did I mention that our visit cost a whopping $5?!  When I got an email from Groupon advertising 2 adult admissions and 2 child admissions all for $10, I jumped on the deal.  Little did I know, Groupon was having a deal of their own – $5 off any Groupon.  Whew! Doesn’t get much better than that, now does it? Especially since admission for the 3 of us would normally cost about $20. (Have I mentioned that becoming part of the Ogasawara family has made me a sucker for a good deal?!)

Here’s our visit in photos…
IMG 4818The ‘moos’.

IMG 4821Pot-bellied piggies.

IMG 4823‘Hello, turkey!’

IMG 4828Gracen’s favourite – the horses.

IMG 4833Duck feeding.

IMG 4838‘Come, ducks. Come!’

IMG 4846Papa and his little lady.

IMG 4857GoatsIMG 4864Goats2IMG 4937Family favourite – goat visiting! 

IMG 4886Goat watching.

IMG 4908Hands washed and ready for lunch.

IMG 4914Picnic lunch!

IMG 4918Duck feeding never gets old.

IMG 4923Fresh mint for the bunnies.

IMG 4929Cow milking.

IMG 4938Kisses. 

IMG 4949Farmer Grae.

IMG 4957Last stop – the playground.

IMG 4888Do you think she enjoyed our day?

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Goat Petting

My little animal lover in action…

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