All the Fun of the Farms

We do love a farm.  Most activity farms seem to be more about the soft play and the playgrounds than the animals, but Longdown Farm near Southampton offers the opportunity to get up close with a wide variety of animals, from chicks to shire horses.  The scene of Tatiana's infamous goat-kissing, it's full of animals but also has lots of other fun things for children to do.  Having said that, on our most recent visit the girls spent the whole morning playing in the playground, riding on the toy tractors and bouncing on the trampolines.

Lara really got to grips with cycling the big go-karts around and kept going back to give Sophia more rides.  I joined in and really paid for it with aching thighs the next day!

After lunch, we headed over to visit the piggies and saw these gorgeous babies, then it was back to our favourite goat kids for feeding time.

Before we left there was time for some more play, and then Sophia and Tatia decided to help tidy the tractors away by making a big long traffic jam.

Our second recent farm visit was across to the lovely Church Farm at Coombes on the South Downs which opens for the lambing season.  A fairly laidback experience, this is simply a working farm which lets visitors in, so mud and poo are the norm in the farmyard and these are real animals.  I read the other day that a high percentage of parents don't tell their children where the meat they are eating comes from, or even that it is actually an animal, or the process involved in getting the animal from farm to plate.  I can't understand why at all, surely if you choose to eat it, you should be honest about it?

I do question whether, as vegetarians, it's acceptable for us to be part of the meat-machine in this way, but I really value the girls' experience of being close to the animals and seeing real, scream-free birth and proper mammalian-feeding firsthand.  Until we have several acres ourselves, I can reconcile taking part in such activities.  The girls do love seeing the lambs and ewes, they are so adorable, especially as you can climb in with the orphans that are being hand-reared and have a cuddle!

Tatiana, as is her wont, couldn't resist sneaking a kiss!

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