Tuesday, April 02, 2013

A Visit to Greenlands Farm

This past Saturday my friends Mark and Michelle invited me to visit Greenlands Farm in nearby Bolivia, NC with them. They're thinking of joining the farm's CSA this spring and wanted see it in person, while I had my own reasons for tagging along. First and most obvious: I really like farms. Second: the farm boasted a petting zoo, including baby goats(!), and who can say no to baby goats? And last but not least: research for my novel. In the book I'm writing, my main character and her husband own a small farm in rural North Carolina, where they operate a CSA and sell produce to restaurants in a nearby city. The opportunity to visit a local farm that does pretty much the exact thing I plan to write had to be taken. 

For research purposes, Greenlands Farm was perfect. They had around 20 acres of land, tons of free ranging chickens, lots of goats for making milk and soap, fields of vegetables, and an orchard. We started our afternoon in the Farm Store, a cute building that sold produce, baked goods, jams and preserves, coffee and tea, and ice-cream. I had a cup of organic coffee and a chocolate chip cookie while admiring everything on display. 

The main character in my novel is a beekeeper, so when I saw jars of Greenland Farms' honey lined up on a shelf, I got a little excited. I asked one of the owners some beekeeping questions, and learned a few things. They've been keeping bees for three years and currently have twenty hives. They don't make a profit on their bee products yet - right now, they keep bees mostly for pollinating the crops. Very interesting information, which I will definitely be incorporating into my novel. 

Once we were full of cookies and coffee, and had paid for our goods (I bought a jar of honey, naturally, as well as a bag of red potatoes) we walked over to the petting zoo. It was basically a small yard that had been fenced off, and contained a pleasant mix of animals. All the animals were rescues, which I appreciated. I made sure to pet all of them thoroughly. 

I am nearly as tall as a llama, but only half as cute. 

It was a lovely day in Bolivia, full of sweet animals, generous farmers, and damn fine coffee, all of which reaffirmed my desire to one day own a chunk of land and fill it with goats and chickens and vegetables. Until that happens, I'll keep daydreaming about it on the page. 

Thanks to Greenlands Farm for a fun afternoon. I'll be back!