Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Distelrath Farm

There are lots of different kinds of farms in the world and in our country and even in our state of Indiana.  And there can be controversy over farm practices - buzz words like GMO and factory farming and family farm.  Some farms provide food to corporations.  Some farms provide food to CSA's, co-op, markets, and communities.  Some farms have big machines and some just have small tractors.

What's neat is to visit different types of farms and see how they work on these different scales.

This past weekend, the kids and I got to visit the kind of farm that I think of when I think of farming.  It's not huge.  It's family owned and operated.  It's also a co-op with a small weekly store.

Distelrath Farms

If you are a fan of "crunchy" people and farming... if you like visiting Trader's Point Creamery... if you believe in getting your hands into the soil as part of farming... this is a place you need to visit.

For the "crunchy" people... there were 2 things that indicated the full on crunchy atmosphere of this co-op farm.  For the record - the crunchy side of me (and yes, there still is a bit of that baby wearing breastfeeding food making baby led weaning earth caring wish I had a compost heap mama side of me) loved these things that I saw and noted.

First, our farmer guide, Sarah, had a baby with her and a baby wearing wrap around her midsection.  Partway through the tour, baby started to fuss.  Sarah popped up her shirt and latched on the baby iun about 3 seconds and went on with the tour with zero hesitation.  Totally cool.

Second, the bathroom situation for visitors is definitely a crunchy mama type of thing.  There are outdoor "stalls" with mulch in them.  I didn't look and I didn't use.  But there is mulch in there and you do your thing in the mulch and then put it in this bucket.  The bucket are then stored in the woods for a year and will eventually be used as fertilizer for fruit trees being planted next year.

See?  Crunchy!

The co-op is a neat deal.  Many co-op's want you to pay a large fee up front to help support the purchase of seeds and supplies.  This can make the co-op deal tough for folks on a tighter budget.  The co-op at Distelrath is very user friendly.  There is a minimal weekly charge ($5.50) and you put in 3 hours of labor.  And the labor is in a variety of areas of farm work needs.

There is a store on Saturdays - 8:30 - 4:00.  If you like the idea of eggs from chickens who are running free in a pasture, pork from pigs that have barns but also have wide open space to roam and muck about, chicken from birds that haven't been in tiny cages their entire lives... you need to come visit Distelrath.

Distelrath also has a vision to educate and inspire young people.  They may not all go the way of becoming farmers.  But this type of early education helps them grow up to love real food and to appreciate the work done to bring food to the table.

Distelrath is located just off 465, near the 74 junction on the SE side of Indy.  I highly recommend that you check out what they have to offer.  They would love to show you around and talk to you (and your kids) about what they do there!

Some of these pictures were taken by me and some were taken by Teagan or Zach.  Enjoy!

egg laying hens, some roosters, some geese
pig enjoying the cool mud

washing eggs from the coop

freshly washed eggs

feeding a bunny

rows and rows of veggies

trying a fresh green bean from the plant

didn't like it so much

a tractor!

flowers are an important part of the farm - to attract bees!

more pigs

zach liked this goat.  this goat liked the bread.

feeding the goat more bread

the egg laying hens and such, roaming free. the kids were collecting eggs from the coops in the yard.

my loves

teagan got to be a special helper and hold a baby chick for others to gently pet

she was so good about being gentle

and so good about making sure the little people got a turn

sig jan 2014 photo owlsig.jpg


Katherine said...

I love this type of farm!

Alison said...

Wow, that is crunchy. Never heard of that kind of port-a-potty, lol! What a great farm visit, though. I don't know how any of these little farms do it, but I'm very glad they do.