On the Farm

After sitting hunched over in a chair all week staring at a computer screen with fluorescent lights nearby (I have an office, but some people in the bank of cubes outside insist on having the lights on, despite the gorgeous natural light we get. . . ugh.), a girl just needs to get outside for some fresh air, sunlight, and country living.

On Saturday, we wanted to do something fun and outdoorsy, so on the recommendation of one of my Cabot Coop contacts, we headed to Great Brook Farm State Park. Less than an hour from Boston, it was a great choice that didn’t take all day.

Here’s a little information from the Massachusetts DCR website:

Chosen by Yankee Magazine’s Travel Guide to New England as Editor’s Pick 2000, Great Brook Farm State Park stands as a jewel in northern Massachusetts! Agriculture has been part of Great Brook’s history for centuries. Holsteins have been kept here for over 60 years and current farmer Mark Duffy continues the tradition with his black & white ladies. Native Americans used sections of Great Brook Farm as sacred sites. Seventeenth century cellar holes comprise "the city" where early English settlers worked one of numerous mill sites on the 1,000 acre park.

We arrived and paid the $2 to park, then started to explore. There were so many dogs! If you are a dog person as I am, you would love it here! It was a perfect day in Massachusetts, sunny with bright blue skies and enough breeze to keep us cool while hiking.

Perfect Blue Skies

But first things first. There was ice cream to be had. Follow that ice cream cone!

Great Brook Farm Ice Cream   Great Brook Farm Buildings

We followed the signs which brought us to the farm which is part of the Cabot Coop of dairy farms. These guys were cute, but boy did they smell!

Great Brook Farm Pigs

This sheep let me pet its head as long as I was feeding it food pellets. Oh yes, I fed all of the animals. I am a total kid when it comes to visiting farms, just check out this post from our visit to Nashoba Winery and Davis Farmland!

Great Brook Farm Sheep

The farm also has many cows that provide the milk for some of Cabot’s cheese and the ice cream served on site. It was interesting to see where the cows were milked, fed etc. but I will admit it wasn’t what I expected. Normally, when I am in the country, it is in Ireland or Northern California, and all of the animals have acres and acres of free roaming and grazing space. I am not at all used to seeing them eating feed in a fenced in area, so it was a little strange. My husband has a farming background and he said the animals were in great condition, but I am interested in finding more out about the lives they lead.

After wandering the farm area, we shared an ice cream to fuel us up for a hike. I know, I know. Not good fuel, but it worked! I liked the whipped cream and the cone the best. The ice cream was a little too sweet for me. I have a hard time finding ice cream that I like, any Boston recommendations? (Not J.P. Licks, I am always disappointed there!)

 

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From there we hiked about 3 miles just to get the legs moving and to see where the trail would take us. The forest was beautiful and quiet with just the right amount of sun streaming through.

Great Brook Farm State Park Trail  Great Brook Farm Forest

Great Brook Farm State Park

He sort of blends in, doesn’t he?

Husband at Great Brook Farm

In addition to a few chipmunks, woodchucks, and a tiny snake (!), we also saw a few dwellings made of sticks and things. I think they are for the forest fairies to live in :)

Dwelling at Great Brook Farm

Our hike worked up an appetite, so we headed to The Colonial Inn in Concord. Visiting Concord feels like a vacation!

 

The Colonial Inn, Concord, MA

I nibbled on some homemade cornbread and sipped a Peak Organic IPA while we waited for the rest of our food.

Colonial Inn conrbread

We mowed down these nuggets of fried farmer’s cheese dipped in a chipotle mustard sauce. YUM!

Colonial Inn cheese bites with mustard sauce

Then we shared a Harvest salad with cranberries, walnuts, and cheese.

Colonial Inn Harvest Salad

Along with fish and chips. . . love my sweet potato fries!

Colonial Inn fish and chips

The food at The Colonial Inn is great, sort of pub style food and was perfect for an outdoor lunch on a sunny day. I hope to visit Concord again soon to check out some of the cute little shops and things they have going on there. Apparently my great grandfather also played for a baseball team in the area, and I would love to find out more about that.

Yesterday was a good reminder that there are so many fun and beautiful places to travel to right in my back yard. With trips to Cape Cod, Newport, Block Island, and Cuttyhunk Island planned, I look forward to enjoying the beauty of New England this summer!

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  1. enrico suave’s avatar

    Who is that handsome man?!?!?!?

    Reply

  2. Abby’s avatar

    Oh my gosh those pigs are so cute!!!! I want one!!

    Reply

  3. Daisy’s avatar

    what a fun day. your ice cream cone looks awesome. My favorite ice cream spot is Cabot’s in Newton. It’s worth a visit!

    Reply

  4. ashleigh’s avatar

    That farm looks like fun! I LOVE PIGS! I will have to remember it the next time I’m looking to get out of the city. It’s not ice cream, but Berry Freeze in Brookline is pretty much the best thing ever. It’s serve yourself froyo. There froyo is good. They even have mango, pom and coconut flavors! Plus you can load up your own toppings and I’m just pretty much obsessed with the place!

    Reply

  5. MarathonVal’s avatar

    I’ve always had a thing for pigs… and those are adorable!!! I used to collect them as a child, and still think they are beyond cute and lovable. What a fun day!

    Reply

  6. Michelle’s avatar

    This looks like such a wonderful day. I love beautiful weekends like the one we had this weekend!

    Reply

  7. Lindsay Meyer’s avatar

    Wish I could spend more time in New England. The northeast has undeniable charm!

    Reply

  8. Brian’s avatar

    Those animals are adorable (though i’d imagine they smelled pretty awful). And I bet that ice cream was fan-freakin’-tastic!

    Reply

  9. Enrico’s avatar

    I just saw this post from your march 21,2011 post – It seems so far to the summer weather considering how long this winter has been. But your pretty pictures remind us winter will be loosening its grip on Boston soon.
    Thank you for the reminder – after the day I have had at the office – the pictures of the farm animals instantly cheer up and turn around the roughest of days.

    Reply

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