Monday, May 9, 2011

Miami County Kansas Farm Crawl

That's what I did on Saturday. There were twelve farms to visit and one of my first stops was an emu ranch.

Those emu girls paced in pairs up and down their muddy routes but would they pose for a picture? No. They were too good at turning the other direction. I tried. Oh, I tried to get a good photo...but it was not going to happen.

Sleeping baby emus were a lot easier to photograph.

My next stop was an alpaca ranch and did they want to be photographed?

Again, no. When I walked into the pen, I was given a handful of alpaca kibble but even with that, I could not get them to look at me.

"Hey! You guys, over here!"

Oh heck. At least they were cute from behind.

And they all seemed to be very sweet since they were so busy kissing visiting children, as well as each other.

Finally, a head shot from an alpaca who knows she is beeyootiful.

This alpaca is more of a fretter...

This one looks like a horserabbit (to me, at least)...

And then there was this one.

I think there's a reason for that scuff on her nose because this alpaca was "in your face" nosy. Definitely some personal space issues. She got in close and rather than nibble on the kibble, she stuck her nose in my purse...

What a bad alpaca. I immediately left her to go watch the five day old baby who was busy chasing a chicken.

That baby was just fascinated with the chickens but the guard llama had had enough of baby shenanigans and took it upon himself to get things back to calm.

"You stop picking on those chickens, you baby, you."

Nudge. Nudge.

And then that baby found himself back with his momma. And from what I overheard, ready to take on those chickens again (once that guard llama was out of sight).

Did I covet emus or alpacas as future pets? Not really. But cows? A slight maybe...a possible 2%. I get such a kick watching cows when I travel down country roads. They might all climb on top of a hill to see who can get the highest, or on a hot day...all of them might go find a pond where you see nothing but cow heads popping up above the water. On Saturday I saw a group of cows hanging out in the woods beside the road which was a funny thing to see because cows are almost always basking in sunshine. Sneaky things. Carefully navigating the rights and lefts around all those trees.

These two girls by the roadside caught my attention, especially the one on the left (such an unwavering staredown!). They were small so I'm guessing they're probably teenagers, especially since they also had such attitude.

Then I was off to a winery which was actually very good. Like really good. I hadn't tried any wine from this part of the country in....more decades than two. And there's a reason for that (scuppernong Missouri wine, eeeugh, eeeugh, eeeugh). But the "Buffalo Red" was delightful and OMG, someone had made shortbread with rosemary in it and that was worth the visit itself.

Then I was off to a chicken/goat something farm. There was an interesting raised bed vegetable garden where 24 inch wide serpentine berms were looked like a maze. It will be mighty interesting to navigate the winding 24 inch wide paths in the coming months. Why grow in straight rows anyway? So predictable the way of getting in and out of the garden. But what I found most interesting were the cut down hollow logs that would soon be containers for future tomatoes. That's an idea I'd like to try myself.

It was such an exquisite day. I saw a bluebird fly across the street. I got to see my first turtle in the road and of course I stopped and moved him to the other side. Knowing what I know about turtles, that little turt probably stomped back to where he was having such a nice rest in the sun and then traveled back across the street when he felt like it.

Places I passed had names like "Wooden Oaks" which made me wonder what oaks aren't wooden? Then there was "Lost Arrow." I wondered if they ever found it. I hope when I finally come up with a name for my spot in the country, it won't confound people who drive by.

My final stop was a wildflower nursery and vineyard. I filled up the golfcart with buttonbushes (Cephalanthus occidentalis) and then drove all of us all the way back home.

If you're familiar with gravel roads, that back window shows a significant amount of happy time spent driving in the country. :-)


Leenie said...

A county farm crawl sounds like such a super idea--especially in a place where there is a nice variety of livestock and produce. I'm with you on saying "no" to the exotics like alpacas even though they have a sweet face. (Laughed about the chicken chaser.) and "maybe" to cows. If I had a few acres there might be a cow.

You'll have to revisit the chicken/goat/something farm and show us the planters and berms in their summer finery.

Maureen said...

Thanks for the road trip, am waiting for the man with a van so I can move to Provincetown today for my new job. Loved it here in Yarmouthport, saw a muskrat yesterday (big, slow and ornery) and thought of your blog!