Retreat

Despite the grey, drab day, my girls and I were teeming with excitement last Wednesday as we slowly drove down Rockton Road, where the path before us turned from asphalt to crunchy limestone gravel beneath our tires.  We knew we were nearing our destination.

Coming into focus on our right was the farm that we visited many times in the past.  That wonderful place where naturally and ethically grown produce and animals thrive, and people aid in that growth with so much vibrancy and respect for Earth and what she provides for us that it is truly inspiring.

But this was not our final destination this afternoon.  Today we were venturing to a new space on the property of Angelic Organics.  Today we were lucky enough to visit the new Angelic Organics Lodge, nestled on the north side of Rockton Road on a gorgeous limestone bluff.

This space was beyond what I envisioned.  We walked through the entrance of this newly renovated space and quickly found ourselves standing on a deck overlooking an expansive oak savannah.  A muskrat scurried into the bend of Kinnikinnick Creek that lay before us, and we could hear nothing but the sound of the wind blowing through the trees, and the birds chirping happily in anticipation of warm spring weather soon to come.  The quiet of this space was so pleasantly overwhelming.  Such a change from the busy sounds of the city that we are often engulfed by on a daily basis.

Inside the walls of the lodge itself were lovely bunk rooms, a commercial kitchen, and a stunning dining hall that boasted a gorgeous stone fireplace.  And perhaps my favorite part of this building was the floors.  The flooring was made with craft paper, glue, water and then sealed with a water-based finish.  It was simply stunning!

This summer the lodge will be the home of Angelic Organics Learning Center’s Overnight Farm Camp, but the best part is, this space is not just for kids!  The lodge will host family weekends, adult farm camp, and even a weekend wellness retreat, complete with farm yoga.  Yes, please!

And if seeing the new lodge was not enough, our afternoon concluded with a chance to see baby goats, newly birthed on the farm.  And not just see them, but hold them, snuggle them and just love on them for quite some time.  It was the absolute best!

I invite all of you to check out the Angelic Organics Learning Center website for more information about all of their amazing programs.  The staff there is beyond words, and they are so helpful in answering any questions you may have about their workshops, camps, and more.  We are so blessed to have a space such as this in our area!

Farm Fresh

This weekend, the littlest of our clan turned three.  In order to celebrate this day, our entire family gathered in our backyard for some farm fresh eggs and local bacon cooked up over the campfire by my hubby.  We also devoured birthday cake at nine in the morning, which was my favorite part of the early morning eating festivities.

After everyone was well fed and revved up with a bit of coffee in their systems, we loaded up into a few vehicles and headed to Krusen Grass Farms.  We have been ordering organic grass fed, grass finished beef from Sue and Altfrid Krusenbaum  for three years now.  We have spoken with them via phone and email many times over the course of the past few years, but had yet to visit their farm.

I spoke with Sue several months ago about a visit and since we have small children, she suggested we come and visit in May because that is when their cows are calving, and the girls would get to see a bunch of calves.  And see calves we did…over 80 of them!  And of these eighty young calves, we were even lucky enough to have timed our visit as such that we were able to see, touch, and snuggle two calves that were just a day old.

I’m telling you, I could have plopped myself right down in that barn and stayed there all day long.  Those little ones were the most friendly, lovely animals I have ever come across.  It was just amazing for the girls (and the adults for that matter) to experience.

But that was not the end of our visit, in fact it was only the beginning.  Sue was so incredibly kind and gave up over two hours of her day to show us her family’s absolutely gorgeous land, animals, and explain to us their sustainable farming practices that make the farm an absolute wonder to behold!  Our next stop was the egg mobile, where the girls were able to gather the day’s eggs.

I think the egg gathering was my oldest daughter’s favorite part of the day.  As she climbed down the steps of the egg mobile, she looked at me and said, “Mom, I think I want to start my own business.  I want to buy chickens of my own and have them lay eggs and then I’ll sell them.”  Love her.

Following the egg extravaganza, we made our way out into the pasture to visit with some of the other cattle.  After growing acclimated to our large group, these beautiful animals meandered our way and we were again able to “visit” with them for a bit.  Such fun!

Of all things I’ve done in my life, including our recent visit to Growing Power, which I touted as one of the greatest days in recent memory, this day now also tops my list.  We were once again able to forge relationships with the people that raise the food our family consumes, see the magnificent landscape on which this food is grown, and also witness a family acting as true stewards of the land.  We had such a fabulous day, and we thank you very much Krusenbaum family for a wonderful visit!