Last week on my day off Dave, Bunny, Ella and I spent the morning at the Collingwood Children's Farm in Abbotsford. We used to live about a five minute walk from here, and frequently took walks along the Yarra Trail which runs past the farm. You can see some animals from the trail, and loved taking Ella to see the cows, sheep, horses and goats. This was my first time actually taking Ella in to the farm, as when we lived there she was really too young to get much out of it. The entry fee is $10 for adults, $5 for children/seniors and free for under 2s. It is a lot bigger than I expected; there is much more to see than what we could view from the trail.
Walking towards the entrance the first thing Ella saw was a metal cutout of a dog which she was super excited about. I'm not sure she understands the difference between real and fake animals yet! She stood there patting it for a few minutes before we had to drag her away to actually enter the farm. The first animal we encountered was the farm cat, who was not very friendly. Ella was giggling and pointing to it, saying "cat! cat!" from about a foot away, when the cat decided she'd had enough of this small child laughing at her, and took a swipe at Ella. Ella was shocked and started crying - poor thing! Maybe the fake animals are a safer option at this point?!
Luckily the farm hands were just about to start milking a cow, so we were able to quickly distract her with that. We also got to brush the cow while it was feeding and being milked which was nice. After that it was time to cuddle a guinea pig. There are three Guinea pig cuddling sessions at the farm every day, and the first is nicely timed to coincide with the cow milking. All the children sat on a rug while a farmer explained how to hold them: legs straight out in front of you, guinea pig held snug in your lap with at least one arm, the other can be used to gently stroke the pig. Ella was excited to hold one, and lasted about thirty seconds with it on her lap before starting to quietly whimper, which was the cue that she'd had enough. (Unfortunately I don't have any pictures of this to post as all the ones we took have pictures of other children in them.)
Next we walked through the farm visiting the different animals. There are horses, sheep, pigs, cows and and goats in different parts of the farm. You can actually go into the field with the goats which is cool. There are also lots of chickens and hens just roaming free.
Once we had visited all the animals we stopped in at The Farm Café for some lunch. We used to go here all the time for coffees and brunches when we were living in Abbotsford, and the food is delicious.
It was then just about time for Ella to have a nap, so we decided to head home. On the way to the car, Ella ran and stood against a wall and refused to move. She then started shooing us all away, saying "bye bye" and waving and pointing for us to leave. We have realised that this is now what she does if she needs to have a Number Two. At first I tried to stay in view, thinking she might get upset if she couldn't see any of us, but every time she saw me she would wave me away. She obviously wants a bit of privacy to do her business. We had to hide behind a bush and wait for her to finish before going to collect her again. It was a very humorous way to end our farm visit!