Living The Farm Life Do Your Chores
Living the Farm Life: Do Your Chores!
Not only is Cherry Crest Adventure Farm a fun place to play and make memories with the family, we’re also a real working farm! The owners of Cherry Crest have been in the farming business for most of their lives, and have experienced many different aspects of the agriculture industry. They’ve raised dairy cows in the past, and currently raise broiler chickens and farm over 300 acres! Every good farmer knows that you can’t run a farm without doing the chores… they’re not always the most fun, but they are an everyday occurrence on the farm. You may not know much about living life on the farm, but you can get a taste for the farm life at the adventure farm, with our Farm Chore Activities!
Straw Bale Hoist
If you’re a crop farmer, you’re probably hoisting straw and hay bales all the time—but even animal farmers have to do this chore! Straw is used as bedding for animals and hay is used to feed many animals. Bales are usually stored in a barn, so there’s often lots of picking up and hoisting from the bed of the truck or wagon and into the haymow. Some bigger operations use machinery to complete this task, but you can bet they’re still doing at least some tossing!
Our Straw Bale Hoist gives you the opportunity to try and lift a straw bale off the ground using various pulley systems. Some of the systems make it easier to accomplish, and you can find out why with our pulley education sign on the side of the Straw Bale Hoist barn!
Whether it’s to keep pests out of the garden or keep livestock where they belong in the meadow, fences are a big part of the farm life! These days they have mechanical post-hole diggers that can help install post and rail fences, but back in the old days, holes had to be dug by hand and then the posts had to be pounded into the ground.
You can give it a try for yourself with our Post Pounders! Grab a mallet and pound the hi-striker, just like you would pound a fence post, to see how much strength you really have. On the farm you would just have the satisfaction of a job well done, but with our Post Pounders you can hear the bell ring if you’re strong enough to hit the top!
Milking the Cows
Milking cows is a big part of many farms, whether or not they have a dairy cow operation. Dairy cows can produce XX gallons of milk each day, and have to be milked in both the morning and the evening to avoid swollen udders and discomfort. Modern milking technology involves machines that help to make the process more efficient, though small farms with only a handful of cows may still use a manual method to milk.
Give both methods a try in our Farm Experience Center! Inside the Discovery Barn you’ll find an interactive exhibit where you can put the milking machine on a model cow and learn more about how the machines work. Outside the barn, you’ll find another interactive cow, where you can bend down and “milk” the cow just like your ancestors did!
It’s important to keep your animals healthy by feeding them properly and often enough! This varies per animal, so farmers have to do their research and know a lot about farm animals in order to make sure that each animal gets the care that it needs.
Here in our Farm Experience Center, you can feed all kinds of farm animals—goats, sheep, alpacas, pigs and more! They get a type of food that’s a special blend of fiber and protein, and is great for multiple types of animals. Our animals also get an additional feeding in the mornings (and of course on the days that we’re closed) with a special diet that is specifically catered to each individual animal. When you feed our animals, make sure you hold your hand flat (palm up), placing the animal food in the center of your palm. This helps the animals to safely reach the food, without accidentally nibbling on your fingers! Don’t forget to wash your hands when you’re done!
Today, most people just buy butter at the grocery store. But did you know that not too long ago, our grandparents and great-grandparents made their own butter? They may have used a butter churn, which is a piece of equipment that looks like a big wooden barrel with a stick poking out of the top. You had to put cream (skimmed off the top of a bucket of milk) inside the barrel, and then move the stick up and down for a long time. This would “churn” the cream inside and eventually turn it into butter. Later models of the butter churn involved a paddle inside that was twirled around using an exterior handle, or a frame that turned the whole barrel when you moved the handle.
You can learn to make butter all by yourself during our daily Butter Making Demonstrations that take place on the Discovery Barn Stage! It’s an easy process that involves heavy whipping cream, a plastic container, and lots of shaking—so easy, you can replicate it at home if you want! Check our daily events board near the ticket booth entrance for the show times when you visit.
On a crop farm, the fields must be harvested once the vegetables or grains have matured. These days, large-scale crop farming is harvested using combines or other types of harvesting machines. But some kinds of crops still have to be picked by hand—like garden vegetables, fruit from an orchard, and vine fruits like pumpkins and squash. Though our crop fields—like the corn maze—are generally harvested with a combine, our squash fields get picked by hand every year!
You can experience the harvest for yourself by picking pumpkins in our Pick-Your-Own Pumpkin Patch! Get a wagon from the tent, head out to the field, and pick the best pumpkin you can f ind. We have all kinds of shapes, colors and sizes, so you’re sure to find one that’s perfect for you.
You probably get water at home just by turning on the faucet, since most of us are fortunate enough to have indoor plumbing. But before homes were conventionally built with pipes and plumbing inside the walls, water had to be brought into the house from an outdoor source. For many farms, this water source was rudimentary pipes from a natural spring that ended in a basic hand pump. Several times each day, someone was sent out to the pump with a bucket to bring water back into the house, to be used in cooking, cleaning and more!
We won’t make you pump your own water to drink for lunch, but you can see what it’s like to pump water by hand at our Duck Races! Grab some friends and see whose duck can get to the end first—the harder you pump, the more water that flows! Don’t drink this water though—if you get thirsty, check out our fresh squeezed lemonade or buy some bottle water.
What kind of farm would we be without tractors?? Whether you love the red or the green or something in between, tractors are an important part of the farm life. They have developed over time—since the first ones was invented in the late 1800s—to make planting and harvesting much easier. Before tractors, any farm equipment had to be pulled by horses or oxen, which took a long time. Tractors were faster and could get more work done in less time.
Here on the farm, we have numerous tractors around the property that you can climb on and pretend to drive (but don’t worry mom and dad, they are safely secured and won’t actually go anywhere)! Our tractors make the perfect photo op, though if you like John Deere, you’re out of luck. Out at the far end of the barnyard, you’ll find “Grandpa’s Tractor,” “Dad’s Tractor” and “My Tractor,” which features three generations of tractors and information about how they’ve changed over the years.
Of course, if you have tractors that you’re driving, you have to be prepared for them to get stuck in the mud! Farmers have to use all sorts of creative methods to get tractors and other equipment out of the mud, including trucks, horses, or even other tractors.
We don’t recommend driving your tractor into the mud to test your strength, but you can try your hand at pulling a tractor at our new Tractor Pull in the Barnyard! You have your choice of a 1980 International Cub Cadet (weighing in at almost 700 pounds) or a 1950 Farmall Super C (weighing over 4,000 pounds, more than 2 tons), so get some friends if you need to and see if you can pull a tractor!