Saturday, September 23, 2017

young girls have picked them every one

Despite the fact that it's eighty skrillion degrees outdoors in the sun, it's officially Fall, which (at least around here) is the season for a particular brand of autumnal barnyard revels. Most of these places are pretty much the same. There are pumpkins, usually some variant of bounce apparatus, listless animals to pet, perhaps some sort of giant PVC tube slide done on the cheap, a corn maze, hayrides, a train ride where the train cars are inexplicably spotted like a Holstein cow 50% of the time, and perhaps cider with donuts. Standard.

That's not that interesting, because we've all been there, done that. But today we returned to a place we went to last year, Southern Belle Farm. The reason we went back to Southern Belle Farm is because they have a pick your own flower field. You heard me. PICK YOUR OWN FLOWERS. different!

A few reasons we like this place. One is that, unlike the apple orchard we went to two weeks ago, they don't nickel and dime you for every damn thing. One ticket for admission covers everything you could possibly want to do, unless you want to buy food. Second reason is that it's very well-kept. Well laid out, neat, clean, and (at least on the two occasions we've been there), not crowded. Third reason is that right there. Pick your own flowers. 

The flowers are beautiful. I don't know what kind they are (maybe someone could chime in if you recognize them), but there's a giant field of them, organized into deep rows. Flower picking is included in the price of admission ($14 per person between the ages of 3 and 65 years old). You just go in and pick as many as you want to take home. Last time we came we didn't know about the pick your own flowers, so we weren't quite prepared. The stems are pretty fibrous so it's hard to pick them with just your hands, and also we didn't have anywhere to put the flowers, so they were all wilted and dead by the time we got home. But this time I was prepared, boy. I had a bucket. I had cold water . I had garden shears for each kid. FORESIGHT IS 20/20 (is a thing that over-planners should smugly start saying).

Oh, and just this last. On our way to the car, we passed the corn maze. My kids don't want to do cornmazes anymore because the last time we did one we got lost (an anxiety-provoking experience enhanced by the fact that I was actually on backup call that day and anxious about my potential for ready egress already) but I don't think this formative trauma prevents them from standing near corn. (Yet. I suppose there's still time for them to be PTSDed by the Iowa caucus later on.) So I told them to stand amidst the corn and peek their faces out, because that would be a great "Children of the Corn" joke that might be me. It was a marginal success, if you consider the margin to be the floor. Maybe in addition to garden shears, I should have brought scythes.

(Thanks to Andrew Moore for recommending this place to us last year. We'll miss you, Good Andrew.)