Here’s the last installment from our day at Wholesome Valley Farm.  First, here’s an overview photo of the barn, parking and main area.  If you look closely, you can see the bounce house.  Our kids had lots of fun in it, but I never took any photos of them jumping.


One of the first thing that the kids did was this cart ride.  They loved it.  It’s a bit strange to send your 2 and 4 year olds off with kids that aren’t all that much older, but they were never totally out of sight and had a blast!


In addition to the bounce house, the kids loved the corn box.  Here’s Sally sitting in the corn.  She spent lots of time in the box.  The next photo is of the chicken house.  The chickens can come and go as they please.  It was fun to check them out.


Two of the Amish boys help us gather eggs.  The kids (and I) thought it was great.  One of the eggs was still warm.  Eggs don’t get any fresher.



After gathering eggs, the kids got to check out the 2 day old chicks.  The expressions were hard to capture, but were priceless.


Last up was produce picking.  It was super fun for Nick and Sally to pick a few items from the fields.  They ended up with patty pan squash, onions, carrots, and tomatoes.  The produce picking came with a ride in the golf cart which was also fun for the kids.




It was such a fun day and the weather was great.  The kids are still talking about it.  Thanks to the 2 Amish boys especially.  They were super nice to Nick and Sally and really made them feel special.


Here’s the third installment from our day at Wholesome Valley Farm.  After a wonderful lunch, we had the opportunity to take in a couple of workshops.  Stephen offered to hang out in the shaded tent outside so the kids could play.

I attended the Lacto-Fermentation class.  I had never really thought about making fermented foods before.  I was so excited that it was easy.

Karen Geiser was our instructors.  She really knows her stuff.  She started out showing us how to make pickles.


She used a special Ferment-O Jar.  It was super easy and only took about 5 minutes to prep.


Next up was sauerkraut.  It was also super easy.  She even showed us how to use a regular canning jar for it.  No special equipment is required.


Karen also talked about resources and was so excited to see a copy of this new book.  She’s 11th on the list for it at the library, not wanting to buy it before she saw it.  I think she’ll probably buy it now.


The problem that I have with lacto-fermentation is that you need to keep items in the fridge once the initial fermenting is complete.  I don’t have extra fridge space to dedicate to sauerkraut.

After a short break, I brought Nick in and we attended the bread workshop by Tina.  We were told it was ok to take photos of the Amish people, but that we should take any close up photos or portraits.  So, I don’t have much to show of her.

She explained to us the importance of grinding flour right before it’s made into bread.  She then demonstrated her process and talked a lot about using high quality ingredients.

She passed out white flour vs. wheat flour for us to taste and see the difference.  Nick loved the brown flour and decided the white flour was icky.  Then, he really enjoyed watching the big mixer.  This recipe makes 4 loaves of bread!


In between steps, we hears about Dutch Country Grains, their equipment and saw a demonstration of rolling oats.  At the end of the day, we each received a sample.


There was a third class at some point, but I never even saw it going on.  I’m not sure if it was during or after the two classes I attended, but one can only do so much.  After the bread making demo, I headed out with the family to finish up our adventures.  Wednesday, I’ll tell you about them in my fourth and final installment about the farm.


After we learned about the reaper-binder equipment and process, our tour continue at the threshing.  We came upon the field and saw the men working.  They were tossing sheaves onto a belt.  The sheaves went into the machine.  Oats come out one shoot and straw came out the other.


When we first arrived, the thresher was being powered by this old steam tractor with really long belts.  It was very cool to see.


But, the steam engine wasn’t able to move the belt fast enough to make the thresher work correctly.


They cleaned out the machine a couple of times.



Eventually, they hooked up this 1930’s gas powered Huber tractor.


Our wait while they were fixing the thresher made Sally really tired. She relaxed with Stephen and eventually napped on my shoulder.  She was really sound asleep despite the noise from the threshing.  She was even snoring.


After sitting on the wagon for about an hour and a half, we headed into the barn for an awesome Amish style meal.  We were served family style.  The menu consisted of chicken, mashed potatoes, stuffing, green beans, pie and ice cream.  The meal was prepared by the Amish women and used many ingredients from the farm.  Our day continued with workshops.  I’ll be back tomorrow to tell you about them.


Our Fresh Fork CSA had an event at Wholesome Valley Farm today.  It was the 1st Annual Threshing Day and was a family friendly event.  We left Mayfield Heights just after 8AM, stopped for gas,  and arrived at the farm right about 9:30AM.  The event was to start at 10AM sharp.


Trevor was all set up when we arrived.  He had his sign out and cold water available as we checked in and received a schedule.


First up was a tractor ride out to the fields.  We past bee hives, pastured Berkshire hogs, and soon arrived at the field of oats that was ready to be processed.


Joel was uncovering the reaper-binder and starting telling us about the process.  Trevor was asking lots of questions on our behalf.  It was quite informative.


Soon the equipment was up and running.  The reaping part of the machine is what cuts down the grain.  In this case, feed oats were being processed.  The binder uses twine to tie the cut stalks into sheaves.


We had nice seats in the wagons while we watched the horses go by a few times.


Once the sheaves are dropped out of the reaper-binder, they are stacked by hand into shocks to dry.


I’ll be back tomorrow with what happens next.