Recently, there was a local 4-H group that toured the farm.
Around 30 kids with their parents all descended on the farm one Sunday afternoon and spent around an hour finding out about chickens, pigs, bees and farm life in general.
As I spoke to the group, lots of hands went up when we first approached the large chicken yard and the kids asked about what kind of chickens were running about, what they ate, etc. and then they saw Cooper, the catken, who I’ve written about before.
As I told Cooper’s story about how he had appeared in a nesting box one day last year and had been a part of the flock ever since, I realized that both child and adult alike were enjoying the strange tale of a feline who had a mistaken identity and felt that he was truly a chicken.
While I was telling the catken tale, I noticed Gertie had made her presence known in the yard, so then I told her story as everyone stood lining the fence surrounding the chicken yard.
Unfortunately, not all of the chickens have names on the farm, but the roosters, Fritz, Mutha and Night Destroyer, and a few hens, Shamrock, Owl, Eagle and Goldie, were identified as we talked about all things chicken.
The tour that day was full of so many stories as we walked and visited the pot belly pigs, Chester and Spike, and fed them select treats, such as carrots and grapes. Then we peeked in on the beehive (at a safe distance, of course), held a goose egg, found out about how I was incubating geese to hopefully provide some protection for the chickens against predators in the coming months and walked through a field that has paths cut through the tall grass.
Once the group finished their outing and had all gone home, I walked back through the farm to pick up stakes that divided off parking areas, removed all of the show-and-tell items I had brought down to the small barn to show and as I worked realized what a true cast of characters this little farm actually is, including myself.
Who knows when the next tour will come through, but you can be assured of one thing: Everyone will get super excited to visit with people and the story of how this crazy journey started will be told again and again.
Until next time…
Stephanie Strothmann owns Purple Shamrock Farm LLC in rural Seymour. Send comments to [email protected]