At my house, the summer seems like it is going to be over before we even turn around twice. Sadly, we haven’t even gotten a vacation in! Between work trips, church camp, the kids’ work schedules, and life, finding a day to just do something fun seems so difficult.
If you’re feeling the same way, I’d encourage you to take a quick minute and schedule a day trip to learn more about agriculture before the summer is over! A day trip can be the perfect solution to so many problems:
- You need a break
- Your kids need a break
- You want your children to have one happy memory of you over the summer
- They haven’t learned anything meaningful since the end of May and it’s about time.
In that vein …
Please enjoy this quick roundup of potential ways to learn more about where your food comes from before the summer is over!
Alpaca’s are similar to camels, but with more charm and personality says the West Wind Alpaca farm in Amboy. You can tour their alpaca farm by calling or emailing them.
The blueberries, red raspberries, and currants are available for picking at Valley Orchard in Cherry Valley. Your kids will love picking their own fruit, and if you plan ahead, you can schedule a tour of their orchard and learn something about how apples and other fruits are grown.
During weekend visits, farm guides invite the public into each animal pen and are ready to supply information about the animals to inquiring visitors. Guests are welcome to touch, pet and groom many of our animals. Our barn animals change seasonally but we often have a variety of chickens, ducks, turkeys, rabbits, pigs, goats, cows, sheep, horses, ponies and donkeys. And if you’re looking for a longer term opportunity, they even take volunteers to care for the animals!
I learned something today! Who knew that we had one of the premiere Japanese Gardens in the U.S. right here in Rockford, IL!? Anderson Gardens is a twelve-acre landscape of streams, waterfalls, winding pathways, and koi-filled ponds has been rated one of North America’s highest quality Japanese gardens for more than a decade. Not your traditional agriculture visit, but definitely something to see.
The M.J. Hogan Grain Elevator is the earliest remaining grain elevator built along the Illinois & Michigan Canal. The elevator, constructed in 1861-1862 by John Armour, allowed local farmers to ship their grain in bulk to Chicago markets via the canal, as opposed to transporting each load by horse and wagon. You can take a tour of this treasure!
Yes, this one isn’t in IL, but it still might be a possible day trip for you. And it’s worth it! This tour isn’t about history of agriculture or what used to be, but instead features the way farmers currently raise cattle, pigs, and how they use technology to do everything better. This one is worth more than a day if you have the time to spare!
Hope you enjoy these fun places to learn more about agriculture this summer! Please come back and comment if you visited any or have any others we should add!
ICGA/ICMB Marketing Director