This past week, I was had the oppurtunity to tour Serenbe Farms for a couple hours. Over the course of the trip, I saw many different farm animals up close and personal. I petted a goat, and I was actually able to work on the farm itself. I was able to weed a small patch of land. Along with this hands on experience, the farm manager took us around the farm and talked with us about various equipment, crops, and farming techniques she uses. Overall, it was a fascinating experience, and I learned quite a bit from it. Unfortunately, my phone died, so I wasn’t able to get any pictures. Therefore, I have attached some that I found online.
First of all, I got just an interesting impression from the place all around. It was educational to me in learning the difference between organic and non-organic farming, because Serenbe was exactly how I used to picture all farms being. It had large fields, full of a large variety of crops, tractors, machinery, and hands-on labor. As I was looking around, it occured to me that this is what I always pictured farms to be, and this was not the normal thing. It seemed so backwards to me that a farm like this is not the standard way most crops are produced in this day and age. This alone was an eye-opening experience for me.
One of the other things that stuck out to me was small patch of kale the farm manager pointed out. Apparently, she was going to have to throw out the whole batch of it because it had over-rippened and it didn’t taste right. From the outside, they seemed like perfectly normal kale leaves, and it was surprising that every single one of them would have to be thrown out. The manager also mentioned that she had tried to grow a lot of crops over the winter, but she did not expect it to get as cold as it did. Most of the crops she planted froze, and they were ruined. I knew farming was an industry where drastic things like this happened, but seeing it up close really made me realize how much things can be ruined if they go wrong.
The experience at Serenbe was a full sensory experience for us. The manager gave us fresh leeks for us all to try, and they were absolutely deliscious. They tasted fresh, coming right from the ground like that. Leeks are similar to onions, and they definitely had that onion flavor. My breath smelled for the rest of the day, but it was as strong or repelling as an onion might be. The had a milder taste that gave you the full flavor of the onion without the strong bitterness and the tears.
Finally, we got to visit and pet the farm animals up close. This part was so fun. It is the closest I have ever been to animals like this, and it was such a weird experience. It is one thing knowing what a rooster or goat look like from pictures, but seeing one walking around in front of you is a completely different experience. The goats were the most fun, because we could pet them and stuff. One of the guys in the group got one to climb on him. Honestly, this had to be the best part of the trip for me.
Overall, this was an extremely educational and hands-on trip. I learned a lot of interesting things, but I think the best part was just being up close to everything. In many ways, farms are things that have always just been a picture in my mind. Seeing one personally was quite enjoyable.