Goats and Cows and Chickens, Oh My!

This past weekend, my family and I went back to Spring Haven Farmhouse in Lancaster, Pennsylvania for another unplugged weekend. This time, I didn’t feel like lugging my huge Nikon around everywhere so I used my phone primarily to take pictures, posting a few to share with friends and family in real time. As parents, we feel in this day and age, that every three months or so, we need to remind the kids that it is possible for them to leave the xbox, ipads and iphones at home and play, explore and go on adventures with the family. It’s like growing up in the 80’s, minus my old station wagon driving us around to some brown and orange-plaid furniture-filled destination spot. Spring Haven Farm was so amazing last time, we had to go back again for another weekend. There was still so much to explore in Lancaster and we just LOVE it there. A gorgeous farmhouse on 82 acres of pure bliss- you can’t ask for more.

You can check it out here : https://www.airbnb.com/c/melissae3822?currency=USD

Spring Haven Farm- our home away from home in Lancaster

Before arriving Friday afternoon, we made a stop at a Strawberry Shortcake Festival at the Amish Farm and House. https://www.amishfarmandhouse.com/ I make a mean strawberry shortcake but Oh. My. Gosh, this was really delicious with the freshest and sweetest strawberries. I was supposed to share with my husband, but he was sucking down a homemade root beer and pulled pork sandwich so I took care of it all myself. You snooze, you lose, my friend. Never to be one to miss out on something delicious, he ran over and grabbed another slice before our Amish house tour was set to begin. It was definitely interesting to get the backstory of Amish traditions; even my four kids paid attention and were intrigued. Not one complaint from them either, and usually someone complains if someone else is breathing too hard. That says a lot about the tour. It was quick and informative; kept us moving through the house to each room, which is why I also think it held the kids interest.

A perk of the farm is that they hold goat yoga here. Not in the house, but at the farm outside. So cost savings alert: when you buy your $35 ticket to goat yoga (more on that below), a house tour pass is included. (Along with a goat yoga tote and a bar of fresh goat milk soap!) How’s that for a deal?!

Strawberry Shortcake
Amish outfits – women don’t have buttons or zippers because they are considered jewelry, so they pin all of their dresses. On the left are boys clothing.

After the tour, we took a walk around the farm. It’s surprisingly big and what was shocking to me is that it’s located next to Target and across the street from the outlet stores, which I have been to countless times in the last thirteen years. Never did I imagine that behind the house was everything that we were experiencing! They have a ton of animals, including the cutest baby goats. We hung out and cuddled with these “kids” twice during the weekend, once Friday and the next time Sunday for Goat Yoga. Yes, yes, yes….more on that below, I promise! The animals were a favorite of the girls, hubby and myself, but the boys…their favorite part of Friday was riding on the Amish scooter bikes. Have you seen Amish people riding them before? We have and didn’t fully understand the “cool factor” until trying them. My husband and I even got in on the action and agree, they are so much fun! They are easy to ride and can do “sick wheelies” as confirmed by my twelve year old. Fun fact: during the tour, we were told the Amish don’t ride conventional bicycles because they believe bicycles can take you too far from your family and home. Scooters take more work and will keep you closer to your mom.

Well now… my kids don’t call me Beverly Goldberg for nothing. https://abc.go.com/shows/the-goldbergs/cast/beverly-goldberg I’m all over that, so when my son asked if he could put an Amish scooter on his Christmas list, I took note and just yesterday found a place that makes them, so we’ll have to send that info right over to Santa. Need the info? Message me!

Our kids cuddling some month old kids!
Amish scooter bikes and the kid who couldn’t get enough of them

After spending more time with the animals, we decided to head to the farmhouse to have a nice evening making dinner, playing games and hanging out on the porch. It was a relatively early evening because we had spent the whole day outdoors, and the next morning I had arranged for a tour at Verdant View Farm to visit with more farm animals.

Verdant View (https://www.verdantview.com/farm-tours/ ) is actually both a farm and bed and breakfast, which I didn’t know initially. Bed and Breakfasts hold a special place in my heart because my grandparents used to own one in Machias, Maine when I was around my own kids age. It was always fun to meet the guests who would pop in for an evening or two. Unfortunately my family is most likely in the running for “Worlds Loudest Family” so I could never imagine booking the six of us in a quaint little B&B. Luckily for us, we could book just a farm tour, and that is exactly what I did. We took the farm apprentice tour (there is an added ice cream tour, but we had plans to go to another creamery later that day and when the yoga pants are starting to get tight, you limit yourself to one ice cream experience per day). We started the tour with a tractor ride to the top of the farm to see all of the farms surrounding Verdant View. We saw the Red Caboose Motel, which is pretty close by, and I want to check that out. This “farm” holds the Guinness Book of World Records for the most caboose trains on a property. I’m not sure how many they had to beat, but there were quite a few on property- I believe 38 in total now. I’m guessing you rent them out and sleep in them for a weekend…sounds pretty neat, even the kids were intrigued, so we’ll have to look into that next time. I can’t recommend them personally (yet), but definitely worth checking out here, especially if you have a little train lover on your hands: https://redcaboosemotel.com/motel-cabooses

After the tour of the farm, we got to each feed some hungry calves. Then we got to milk their momma. I can’t even imagine having to milk cows daily by hand. It’s not difficult but getting enough for even a glass of milk would take awhile.

Feeding the Calves
Milking the cow

After the cows, we moved on to the chicken coop to collect any eggs. They have about 12 hens laying eggs, and they get 12 eggs per day. All of the food served at the bed and breakfast is from the farm. Eggs, milk, butter, veggies, and eeek….meat.

In the coop.

As we were walking from the chicken coop and on our way to see the goats, we heard the sounds of the Strasburg Railroad coming through the tracks on the farm. Pretty neat to see!

We visited the goats, and our part of the tour was done. It was about 75 minutes long and cost the six of us, $96.00. We all agreed it was worth the money, for sure. We highly recommend!

We headed to lunch at the Speckled Hen and might I just say, their food was fresh and delicious. And only a mile and a half from Verdant View!http://www.speckledhencoffee.com/

The next morning, we went to the highly anticipated Goat Yoga….this is what my husband was most excited for the entire weekend, which had us laughing. He’s not typically what you would call a yogi-esque person. My boys were not 100% sold on the idea at first and then when they saw they were the only boys attending, got even more nervous. However, once they got in the breezy studio, and the baby goats ran over to them, they forgot all about their concerns and had a blast. The goats are a month old now, although we were lucky enough to have a 5 day old baby kid join us as well. As this was the first class of the season, the goats were learning what goat yoga entails, along with us. They were being trained by the nicest goat handlers who would coax them to come to people with leaves which they would happily eat…sometimes they wouldn’t even need coaxing…they would just jump right up on you. The yoga instructor had a routine set for poses that would allow the goats to jump up or walk up you. The 5 day old goat made it through two poses before falling asleep in a lucky lady’s lap. They were so friendly and sweet, although they do like to eat hair, so make sure you bring a scrunchie. Yep, those are back in style now!

Don’t expect to get an intense workout, although my abs were a little sore from laughing at these adorable little kids. And I don’t mean mine, although they are pretty cute too. Most days. Look below! Teen approved. There is a teen smile!

I took so many photos, as did the photographer who was walking around the class. Don’t worry if you want to just play with the goats, they post all pictures on their facebook site. https://www.facebook.com/goatyoga.afh/ It’s great for families, girls trips, you name it!

This was definitely a fun experience and we will be coming back to Lancaster soon! My one daughter didn’t have too many goats come to her during the session, but not to worry. She got her fill afterwards as they allow time just for pictures and cuddling. As my kids were the only “young adults”, they got to help bring the goats back to their moms!

Sunny, short for Sunflower, is 5 days old.

If you decide to attend a class, ask for Jamie and tell her you heard about yoga from the blog…she is super nice, very helpful and the roaming photographer at goat yoga. You can find more info on how to book goat yoga or family goat yoga at: https://www.amishfarmandhouse.com/on-the-farm/goat-yoga/?fbclid=IwAR0q_sXNQK0-DcfSIkp8VN6BqStcNTcR7kyl0unVp1BDZUJsK8_qTf_9LRQ

One more shot because I can’t resist…and I promise you won’t be able to either!!!

So all in all, another awesome weekend where NO ONE asked once for their phones or devices. We made so many memories with each other and with these adorable animals. Amazing how close this “other world” is. I truly think it’s a great break for everyone to get away from the daily monotony and the tech fueled world and come have some fun in beautiful Lancaster, PA.

Oh, and if Spring Haven Farmhouse wasn’t appealing enough already, come July, look what is coming to their farm!!! TWO babydoll sheep. This is Merle and we are in love. Planning our next visit already….

Merle

xoxox-

Melissa

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