Down on the Farm

Yesterday was a really great day. I took 22 of my advanced Photo students on a field trip to a local farm to take pictures and to get educated about the importance of humane farm practices and supporting local agriculture. When I contacted the farmer (Judy) last month about bringing a group of students to her farm, she was really excited. Judy is one of the most passionate individuals that I’ve ever met- her life is her farm and her animals.

When we arrived, she took us on a tour all around the farm and talked about the animals and how the farm operates.

We saw chickens (they are free-range and this is the last flock of the season. Since it was cold, they were inside staying warm with heat lamps)

And cows


And hens running out of the hen house for lunch!

They have horses, too, but I didn’t get any photos of them.

Despite it being very cold and windy, it was a really beautiful day. The landscape of the farm is very picturesque!

And the sky was just gorgeous.

Judy told us about all of her ethical practices on the farm. She hand-tends every animal, and it was really interesting to watch her interact with them (they loved her!). All of her animals eat organic feed and/or grass. She got quite choked up when she was telling us about inhumane farm practices that are common, and I think it really opened a lot of my students’ eyes. Some of them will probably never think about it again, but I know that what she said definitely impacted a few.

After our tour and a bunch of photographic opportunities, Judy took us into her market (where the family sells all kinds of meat, dairy, eggs, baked goods, and local art from various artisans) where she had prepared us an AMAZING lunch. We were greeted by this nice little sign:

Everything that was on the table was local – either from her farm or a nearby farm (nothing was from more than 10 miles away!). She had told me that she would provide lunch, but I was really blown away by how much work she put into it (so were the kids)!

Check out the spread:

There was quiche; slow roasted beef with cheddar; two kinds of soup: sweet potato/chard/white bean and traditional potato soup; homemade corn bread, multi-grain bread and sweet potato rolls; applesauce; apples; and an array of cookies and baked goods. She also had hot apple cider, hot tea and milk for us.

My plate (Greg met us for lunch! His plate is next to mine):

I also had sweet potato soup – and went back for seconds on that. 🙂 The kids LOVED IT, which made me really happy. They said “this is WAY better than cafeteria food!”

We posed for a group shot (a few of the parents are in there, too)

Can you find me in there?

It was such a great day, and it was really cool to see my students take an interest in something that I’m so passionate about. I can’t wait to get back to work on Monday and hear their feedback about everything (and see the photos they took). I’m hoping that this is a field trip that they remember for a long, long time.


3 Comments on “Down on the Farm”

  1. Kat Cuttitta (Hoffman) says:

    Is this England Acres off 144? So pretty there. I don’t know how people can eat regular cheap eggs- they don’t even look right to me anymore. Happy chickens make delicious eggs! They are even better for baking :o)

  2. Gil says:

    Judy is such a sweet person. Once, I mentioned I was interested in learning the guitar, and right on the spot she gave me one!

  3. Michelle says:

    Ah man! This makes me miss my parent’s farm! I get really frustrated when people think most farmers treat their livestock in an inhuman way because I definitely did not see that growing up!

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