Fall 2012 at the Farm.....

For the past three years, we've made it a family tradition to visit Sweetfields Farm in Masaryktown, FL. 

There's nothing more relaxing than an early Fall morning visit to a farm.  With a family as large our our, we have to get an early start to make any type of trip.  We started the day with a full breakfast and this morning's menu was homemade Belgian waffles.  This is a breakfast that the kids really enjoy because they get to help with the cooking.  We hurry up and eat, shower, brush teeth and are off for our 45 minute drive.

Once we arrived and everyone got their hand-stamps, we head past all the fun games and things to climb on and get our instructions for the corn maze.  Every year they carve a new maze so we never know what we're going to go through.  It's so exciting!  The lady at the entrance gives us our question sheet.  This year the maze consisted of six questions.  That means there are six cross-points in the maze.  To know the right way to go, you have to answer that number's question correctly.  They are really good at setting up the questions so that we're learning as well.  This year I even learned something!  I did not know that a cup of candy corn has less calories than a cup of broccoli.  Surprise!  We made it through, making a few wrong turns here and there, but had a lot of fun.  It took us about 45 minutes to make it all the way through the six acre maze. 

Next stop is the hay ride which takes us all the way around the farm.  Then we test out the potato shooter.  For 2.00 you get three potato shots at various targets.  It's air powered and takes quite the skill or pure luck to make it where you're aiming.  Nevertheless, the kids love it.  We also stopped for a quick milking of the cow. 

We moved on to the incredible treehouse which is big enough for parents to go through.  The whole inside has it's walls lined with chalkboards so we left our marks.  Then the kids slid down the big slide to the ground level.  We then hear it's time for the pig races.  Of course, two of my boys wanted to take Peanut Butter or Jelly home with us, but I don't think we need pigs borrowing through our yard.  The pigs race around the outer track and back to the beginning for their treat - a peanut butter cracker.  It was quite funny to watch them race and cheer on who we wanted to win.

There were so many hay bales that we didn't know which to stop at first.  There are both square and round bales with some stacked up to make a shape of a train.  Some are painted with smiley faces to make it fun.  The boys climbed all over everything and had a blast.  They then ran over to the old-fashioned water pumping station that is setup to hand crank the water as fast as you can to push your duck in the water to the end and your partner on the other side pushes it back.  There's also a big square board on top of a ball that will rotate when walked around on the edges.  On the top is a ball that you have to wrangle through a maze.  It takes coordination, patience and cooperation from your partner playing with you.  We played on the crazy horse which is a blue barrel dented in the middle and tied up four corners.  One person at a time rides the crazy horse and the others pull on the rope trying to make the rider fall off.  It's quite funny! 

We made another stop to check out the goats who are always fun to watch.  These aren't just any goats.  These guys are living very well.  They have a two story private barn with grass growing on the roof.  They can climb up their own stairs and out onto the roof whenever they want.  They also have a long bridge to walk out on and pick up a treat or two.  They have buckets on a pulley system so that we can feed them from roof to ground.  It's quite the setup and I'd say these are very lucky animals.  Sweetfields Farm takes very good care of their animals.  We also took a moment to say Hello to Rosie Moo Moo.  She's so popular she even has her own Facebook page!

Normally we would make a stop along the way to the u-pick fields.  Sweetfields uses an all natural method for their crops.  They strictly manage how much is harvested each day.  Although I appreciate that process, it's disappointing when we can't get some of the vegetables that day.  Last year we picked buckets of green beans that were each so big that some of them were over a foot long!  We also picked pink-eyed peas and cucumbers that were so big they looked abnormal.  We'll positively be back next year, but on a Saturday rather than Sunday to increase our chances of those fields being open.

Pumpkin Patch Rounding up the day, we head towards the pumpkin patch to pick out some pumpkins.  There's so many to choose from!  We stopped for our favorite treat, a few bags of kettle corn and some fresh apple cider and then head home.  We can't wait to come back next year!  Thank you Sweetfields for this wonderful opportunity to spend a day at your farm.  You too can visit them at: 17250 Benes Roush Rd. Masaryktown, Fl 34604 or on their web site.

Here's what our carved pumpkins came out looking like.  Everyone did a great job and thanks Unk Munk!

Ryals Family carved pumpkins 2012 

It is now