Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Riverdale Farm

I don't recall how I found out about Riverdale Farm, although it's possible I was looking up summer camps and they had pottery and quilting/weaving in addition to "farm camp."  While I did farm camp one year many decades ago, I didn't think that would be too appealing to the kids.  However, a short excursion to the farm might be fun, so we set out Sunday morning to head over there, since it is tucked up next to the Don River Valley, not that far from our house.

It is more of a working farm than say the farm connected to the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, which is more explicitly set up as a petting zoo.  On the other hand, it is a very small farm, with most of the area for the animals on hilly ground, and thus they don't have larger animals such as horses or cows.  Or certainly, we didn't see any.  We saw goats and sheep, however.  My daughter started complaining about the smell almost immediately.

We walked a bit further and saw they had some ponds that had been restored to a more or less natural state.  One, however, was completely covered with algae and didn't look like a healthy pond at all.  (The photo below is from a second pond that actually had a bit of open water.  Just to the left of centre, there is a turtle sitting on the end of a large stick that has fallen into the pond.)

Unfortunately, during this short ramble, my daughter touched some plant that gave her a bad allergic reaction, so we had to walk very quickly back to the restrooms at the very front of the farm (all the other buildings were closed).  She had pretty bad welts, though they faded in a couple of hours.  Nonetheless, this was probably her only visit to the farm, since she has no interest in returning, and obviously farm camp is out of the question.

It put a bit of a damper on the day, and I decided we probably ought to avoid swimming, as I had no idea how chlorine would react with whatever natural oil or essence was still on her skin.  I'm not sorry that we saw the farm, but it's not going to be a place that is very important to me, that's for sure. 

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