Our four foster lambs were hungry, so I went out early, with extra formula. They are tucked into a rebuilt corner of the barn, the ‘Lambs Playpen’, deeply bedded in straw, safely protected from any predators.
A family farm outing to Topsy Farms includes time to:
- interact with young animals and ask questions
- visit a Monarch Way Station garden
- explore a store with ethically produced natural wool products
Table manners don’t seem to be easily teachable to lambs, so the first few minutes are a feeding frenzy until everyone latches on to their own bottle. (I can feed 4 at once, with the help of my knees.)
Wee Lassie is head lamb (eldest by 4 days). She wears a harness, so I attach a leash and we head out as a pack of 3 (youngest won’t follow safely yet) to join my grandsons as they wait for the bus.
Orioles chatter and swoop and Kingfishers rattle as we head down the road to the neighbouring cemetery. Nathan observes that Lassie doesn’t mind mud or puddles so all 5 stomp.
Lassie gets her sip of formula for great behaviour on the leash, and all are freed to romp and explore. They are just discovering the joys of clover blossoms so the romping is brief, milk sloshing in tummies, and they settle to discovering what is edible.
Mike learned his letters on gravestones a few years ago now. We three decipher the aging markers and talk a bit about old Island families and history and which kids now in school might be descendents of the old Irish names.
With the bus due, we close the gate firmly, reattach the leash and head back.
The barn swallows dive, and pigeons softly chortle and the grass smells so very green after the wonderful rains.
Another new lamb game is to follow a boy up on the stack of straw bales, with a suck of the bottle reward up high. I think they enjoy being challenged and having the stimulation of new places and things – as long as they feel safe. Much like people.
Families who have come for family farm outings at Topsy Farms express joy at the range of experiences and learning for adults and kids alike.
One home-school mother drove from Ottawa to Topsy Farms on Amherst Island, to visit the Wool Shed and to cuddle lambs. She felt it well worth the time and distance, saying:
“Thank you for welcoming us to your beautiful slice of land on Amherst Island. It was wonderful, inspiring and enriching.
Also, thank you for being so genuinely open, kind and intuitive with our four small children. I’m thinking back of you sitting with them on the lawn answering the many questions that popped into their curious minds. This was definitely a most memorable field trip.
We are cuddling up with our gorgeous new wool blanket and feeling so grateful.
The three year old would like me to tell you “meg wich”!
Thank you for doing what you do and sharing your passion…”
Choose us as a destination. Amherst Island is a lovely place to visit.
Ask to sign up for our mailing list for Family Events at Topsy Farms, by writing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Investigate our on-line store and wander through our pages of history and stories.
Come visit our two growing lambs (the others graduate to a small free-range farm) and explore our Monarch Way Station garden and our farm world.
Discover the Wool Shed and explore the wondrous pure wool and sheepskin products we offer.
The loons are here, calling.