If you are ever in Wisconsin and you think to yourself, “I just want to FEEL Wisconsin. I want to smell stinky cow air. I want to see corn growing. I want to touch farm animals and taste Wisconsin-y things.” If you ever think thoughts like this, there is a place for you.
Go to Mulberry Lane Farm. (There are probably lots of other places to smell cow and see corn, but this is the place my parents always take my city kids.)
I’m not big on the country life, but it’s pretty cool for a farmy type place. The scenery is picturesque and the grounds are about as clean as a farm can be. The animals are all very tolerant of people touching and holding and squeezing them.
Because we didn’t go to the farm on the day Leah expected us to, she spent a whole afternoon moaning about wanting to see kittens. Two days later, when we were actually going to the farm, she felt she needed to stay home, because she was afraid to milk the cow and ride the ponies.
Leaving 7-year-olds at home alone is frowned upon in most States. So we told her to get her booty in the van, because she was going anyway.
We started our farm tour in the chicken-holding pen.
My big kids refused to hold chickens. Something about not wanting to get pooped on. Enoch was willing to tentatively poke a feather with one finger when I held a chicken up by him.
Next was the goats.
Leah refused to let the goats eat corn out of her hand. Isaiah tried to avoid walking on goat poop, which was about as easy as walking on water. Enoch tried to grab the goats’ ears, which he found amusing. I imagine the goats did not.
Then we visited the sheep pen.
The big kids tried to dodge more poop on the ground and they both refused to touch the sheep because they were “dirty.” There were also a couple of calves in the pen that they would not touch.
We got to the pony rides.
Isaiah self-declared himself too old. I declared Enoch too young. So the boys and I parked in the shade. Leah decided she wasn’t, after all, afraid to ride the ponies. She came running back to me like a conquering hero when her turn was done, “I did it! I rode the little one!” Bravery comes in all sizes.
We moved on to the cow-milking station.
My kids were the ones with their backs pressed to the fence, as far from the cow as possible. There was no way they were going to touch a cow udder, which Isaiah said was basically the cow’s “private parts.”
Next was a hay ride.
This was overall a hit. Enoch enjoyed trying to fist handfuls of hay into his mouth. Isaiah “pretend” complained about having to see farm sights. Leah was a little concerned that the ride was too fast. But everyone seemed open to doing it again, should the opportunity arise.
When the tour was done, they released us to find the bunnies, kittens and chicks.
This was the part my city kids had been waiting for. (OK, I’m not going to lie. I’d been waiting for it too.)
The big kids were good at cuddling bunnies. Enoch chortled when I rubbed a bunny on his cheek. Then he grabbed its paw and held on for dear life. The bunny seemed remarkably calm under the circumstances.
The kittens were pretty much the same story, except Enoch chortled and grabbed them by their loose kitten skin. Leah kept telling me she saw a sign saying the kittens were ready to “adopt,” like this was relevant information for our life.
When we got to the chicks, I decided that baby birds might not be able to handle Enoch love. Turns out, Isaiah has impressive bird catching and holding abilities.
We ended the day at the farm’s playground.
The kids had been asking about the “park” all day, like there was some kind of gravitational force pulling them in. They played in a sandbox and climbed on things. Enoch tried to rip up as much grass as he could and eat it.
So here is a recap of our visit to the farm:
My small people went to a farm, which they enjoyed, as long as they didn’t have to touch anything but kittens and bunnies (which they could find in any pet shop). And so they could play at a park. City kids.