Monday, September 27, 2010

a hip trip to the farm...

Picture this; the crisp fresh air, the lush green grass, (or perhaps the satisfying squelching of your gum boots through the mud), the morning sun, the distant 'baas', and 'moos', the clip clopping of the horses, the smell of freshly made coffee and hot buttered toast....

No, we are not away on a country escape, but rather the countryside is in the city, always. Melbourne's "own city farm", only 4km from the centre of Melbourne, Collingwood Children's Farm is such a perfect spot to take the 'hips' on a morning adventure. Open every day from 9am till 5pm (and costs only $4 per child and $8 per adult), there are cows to milk, horses to ride, guinea pigs to cuddle, pigs to oink at, earth worms to get grubby with, and much more. There are currently some gorgeous little spring lambs and calves to watch as they stumble over the grass trying to keep up with their mums and dads (just like a certain little Miss right hip of mine!)

Yes, some of us grew up with these animals on our doorstep, but just remember, some of our little 'hips' often don't have the opportunity to even step foot in the countryside, let alone stroke a lamb, or pat a horse. You will be so bemused by how excited they really get.

After frolicking around with the lovely little lambs and gregarious goats, a visit to the farm cafe is an absolute must. Organic, free range, healthy, you name it,..its a fabulous place to pop by for a great bite in a beautiful location. The cafe is located right next to the children's farm, so you can, and are also encouraged to head there even if you are not visiting the farm. The Farmers Breakfast, and the Goats Toast are faves of hubby and I (or the Ploughmans lunch if I am feeling a little bit homesick!), and the 'hips' were really happy with Toastie Soldiers and Babycinos.

The first sunday of the month is family day where there are cows to milk and tractor to ride. Another fabulous tip is to go to the farmers market (second Saturday every month) where entry is only $2 for adults and the 'hips' go free, and this entitles you to stay at the farm as well...what a bargain.

And even if you are not in Melbourne, and the chances are whilst you read this you are not, why not check out your local farm, as I am sure there is one. Where I grew up in the UK, we used to go to Godstone Farm on both school trips and family days out. Even though we lived in the countryside, it was still so much fun to have a hip day out on the farm...

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