We went to the Barnard farm during their open weekend. What great fun and it raised dead presidents ($) for the local Wildlife Sanctuary of Northwest Florida, which conincidentally, we had a need of just last week. A baby dove fell from the nest in the small oak in our backyard - not a very far fall, but enough so MotH took the baby, under the glaring(!) eyes of the Mama and Daddy dove off to be helped. Good News: baby will be fine and raised w/some other doves and eventually set free (to likely be eaten by a hawk because doves are stupid). Bad News: Mama and Daddy Dove still glaring at MotH - it's made him a bit paranoid, I think.
Back to the farm which is just off Blue Angel Parkway, but a nice 20 acre tract of land (I would not say it was a huge tract of land).You would never know it was there. The family purchase in 1998 and the place, by that time had been abandoned 10 years - would like to know who (wife or husband) convinced who that this would be a good idea. This place would be ideal for me if I didn't have to do the 8 - 5 thing. Purely charming... all of it, and whimsical without being twee. The only thing it really needs is a donkey (or two).
This is the second year that the tour has happened and it is well organized and all aspects are well thought through. (Somehow we missed last year). The drive onto the property is lovely - lined with trees with slight curves in the dirt road.
We parked and wandered over to the bee hives - first how damn cool is that you're own honey. The hives were cordoned off, but I'd like to get closer to see more. Avoiding fire ant hills (Ubiquitous, I realize), we walked the short distance to the veg garden - it was simple, neat, large enough, and there were climbing roses on two of the corners of the fence. The roses were covered in flowers and also buzzing with bees.
Just beyond the veg garden, was the chicken coop. Now I no next to nothing about chickens, but I do love the ones with little feathers on their feet. I should have asked about laying capacity, but since I can have chickens in the city limits (bit me, City of Pensacola) it doesn't matter. The hen house was cute, but also seemed very functional and provided plenty of room for the chickens to roam.
And then there were the goats - or goat I should say since only one was interested in being um ...zoo animals. All the ten-year olds thought the goat was preggers, but our golf cart tour guide later informed us, both the goats are girls. To give the kids credit - the goat was on the fatty side.
We walked in the cool and shady flower garden near the entrance and the large oak trees. Just lovely. We met a man who knows the Barnards and learned that he (Mr. Barnard) would bring back interesting things from his demo jobs such as the church steeple over the pet cemetery. Sad but sweet.
The garden was nice and shady and had some neat art. This seems to be under the direction of Mrs. Barnard. Nine years in the works; there are many areas within the garden that provide different views.
We took the golf cart tour directed by a niece of the Barnards. It was nice to get a picture of the entire place and get some details about the farm. We went by the pond and saw the mallards, and also the peacock and peafowl. The wooded area was so cool and comfy. It amazing how many oaks that are still standing on the property considering the numbers of hurricanes we've had in the past few years.
What a great visit! I'm looking forward to next year (the Saturday before Mother's Day) and then have the nerve to introduce myself and ask questions and encourage the additions of a donkey.