A Trip to Pineland Farms
Wayne and I took a drive to Pineland Farms in New Gloucester which is only a half hour ride for us. The campus, once "Maine's Home for the Feeble Minded" (that may be a separate post sometime down the road), was transformed into a "5,000-acre working farm, diverse business campus and educational and recreational venue." Pineland Farms is also the supplier of my favorite pepper jack cheese and beef that I've been eating for years. Even so, I had never visited the farm until now. Why not before? It was one of many things I would do "someday." I'm so over putting things off, especially when I came to terms with how much time I had been wasting with my toxic relationship with Facebook.
We wanted to take part in the "Family Farmyard Hands-On Activities." In other words, play with pigs, chickens, alpacas and goats while learning about farm life! When we arrived at the welcome center to buy tickets the employee asked if we had kids with us? When I replied no, we didn't, he assured us that it was OK, they have people "like us" from time to time and gave a patronizing smile.
That never even crossed our minds. What's up with that? Was that just a kid's domain--learning about farm life and animals? I know he meant well, but I felt a little awkward after that.
We drove to the educational center, and when we walked in a few minutes late things became even more uncomfortable. There were little kids sitting around an employee reading from a storybook. That's cute and all, but we felt like we some overgrown schoolkids left back a few decades, until Christine saved the day! A super enthusiastic employee, she asked us if we were there without kids, and when we said yes, she said she's give us a special adult tour!
Leaving story-time behind, our first stop was at the chicken barn. Did you know that roosters hum, purr and know verses other than the old standby, cock-a-doodle-do? Me either, but this group of men could possibly be called the Rooster Tabernacle Choir! They were curious about us and some came over to give us the side-eye.
Christine treated us like VIPs, making sure to point out that we were given special privileges as adults-only visitors. Not everyone gets to actually pet the big pigs in the pen.
They like to cover themselves with super high SPF sunblock aka mud. I never realized it was functional; I had always thought it was just for fun.
They had been sleeping, so they were pretty mellow when we gave them head pats. One rolled over for belly rubs from Christine.
Story-time was over at this point and a little girl fed the alpacas with the help of her mom. I couldn't tell if she was laughing or about to cry. Truth is I felt the same. Wayne was a natural. After a few minutes I got the courage to let them eat out of my own hands! Ok, so I had food in my hands and they wanted eats and didn't wait for permission.
Next came the baby dwarf goats, and this one wagged his tail and jumped on me like he was a puppy.
They also like to chew on things. Wayne's shoelaces were very attractive to the goat which he began to try and undo after I snapped this pic. My shoes were safe.
Agnes the cow couldn't take her eyes off of Wayne while Christine gave her a gentle primer about being well-mannered with the guests.
The little bull gave Wayne lots and lots of cow licks! Then he came over to me and starting sniffing my leather bag. Awkward.
After the social we received a 10% off coupon for lunch at the farm. On our way over we stopped at the cheese making plant.
I loooove their cheese! That would make some good dipping sauce!
For lunch I had chicken chili and Wayne got seafood chowder. Both were delicious, made with ingredients from the farm. We also visited their garden which I'll be sharing in my next post.