Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Southlands Heritage Farm Pumpkin Patch

I've always loved carving pumpkins at Hallowe'en but have never actually been to a pumpkin patch. Maybe that wasn't as much of a 'thing' as it seems to be nowadays? In any case, I decided it was high time we went to a pumpkin patch, as Sprout is old enough to enjoy it now. I'd only heard of pumpkin patches that were far far away in farm country (like Richmond, or even *gasp* Abbotsford) so I googled 'pumpkin patch vancouver' to see if anything would come up. Lo & behold, Southlands Heritage Farm popped up on Google Maps & after looking at the bike directions, I decide it was a perfect little jaunt for us: 10km ALL along bike routes.

This guy was right next to where we locked up our bikes.
So yesterday we packed Sprout into the trailer & headed out on our way, shedding layers shortly after leaving, as we'd dressed for fall weather. I keep forgetting that it's 'Augtober' right now. Anyway, the ride was lovely, a familiar route up Ontario Street, across 37th Avenue, up Little Mountain, past Queen Elizabeth Park & VanDusen Gardens. Continuing westward along 37th Avenue past ever more expensive looking houses into Shaughnessy, Oliver lost count of all the German cars he saw parked. There was nearly no traffic on the bike routes--though plenty of potholes & seriously rough pavement. We rode through the shady quiet streets of Kerrisdale & then turned down the hill into Southlands where things got decidedly rural-looking.

They board quite a few horses here, including Mr. Nippy here.
Southlands Heritage Farm is a tiny little agricultural reserve in the southwest corner of Vancouver. They've got horses, goats, pigs & chickens, STaRS riding lessons for children & adults with disabilities (more info on the Southlands Therapeutic Riding Society here), classes for kids on farming, as well as diverse workshops like beer brewing, cob building & cheese making. The farm is located at 51st Ave & Balaclava. It's easy to bike to if you don't mind the hill on the way back home & if transit is your thing, the #49 bus stops just two blocks away.

The rural version of a ball pit--a hay pile!
After we toured around the little farm & picked out a couple of pumpkins, we headed back home. Sprout was lulled to sleep in the trailer after a few minutes of riding & I decided to hang a left on 37th into Queen Elizabeth Park, since we were already up near the top of Little Mountain. We got a couple of frozen treats while Sprout napped & enjoyed the view from the top, trying to pick out which buildings were which in between all the trees below. We couldn't quite see our house, but with a bit of squinting we identified a few larger buildings near it.

Of course Sprout had to ride the 'tractor'.
Chasing chickens. They're behind the fence near the top.
More interested in the wheelbarrow than picking a pumpkin.
Lens flare!
Snack time.
 The grooming ended when this goat head butted Sprout to the ground.
Checking out the goats' house.
Pickiest goats ever: they refused apple & held out for blackberries.
Propped up the trailer so Sprout could sleep more comfortably.
I know they're terrible for me, but I love these fudgey things!
Me & Mr. Squinty with the view from Little Mountain.

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