Appleton Farm is one of dozens of historic farms and properties throughout Massachusetts that have been restored to their former glory by The Trustees of Reservations, a not-for-profit preservation society that operates things like active dairies and farmshares on their properties to raise money for their restoration projects. Restoring and farming the land to teach future generations about another era. I love it.
From the Trustees website:
Together with our neighbors, we protect the distinct character of our communities and inspire a commitment to our special places. Our passion is to share with everyone the irreplaceable natural and cultural treasures we care for.
Though there are dozens of places to choose from in Massachusetts, we settled on Appleton because of its proximity to our home base. We planned to leave Boston the next day and didn't want to put the boys in the car for a long time on the day before. We were not disappointed.
Appleton is lovely. The Trustees have completely restored and upgraded the Main House, so it is now a LEED certified building. We stopped there to pick up our farm maps before heading down to check out the mobile chicken coop.
We walked along a scenic path between the chicken coop and the old carriage house, where we met a couple of hungry cows and enjoyed the views of farm pastures and of course, big farm equipment.
We explored the restored carriage house, stuck our head in to the (stinky) dairy building, and one of our little ones even got up close and personal with a cow patty. Yum. So much for those Crocs.
There weren't as many animals as we were hoping to see, but we did run into several calves and spent some time showing the littlest farmers how to feed them grass through the fence. Instantaneous love between our calves and those of the bovine variety.
We took the long way around the dairy, enjoying the warm breeze, the dusty path, our hiking backpacks, the pasture views, and most of all, each other's company.
The dairy store and farmshare were opening for business as we made our way to that section of the farm. If we hadn't been driving far the next day, I would have loved to pick up a half gallon of their farm fresh milk. Their farmshare produce was so lovely and colorful that I had to take a picture of it. I think the locals thought I was a little silly, but whatever. It was pretty :)
The last part of our walk around the farm was through a canopy of old oak trees, part of the sweeping driveway leading from the road to the Main House. We hugged trees. We hugged each other. And mostly we marveled on the amazing week we had together, and how we have to do things like this more than once every five years.