Well here we are, smack dab in the middle of farm season. Pumpkins and hayrides and corn mazes oh my! I'll give you $20 if you can look at your Facebook feed on a Saturday without scrolling through at least 3 consecutive pumpkin patch photos. Seriously.
So, I'm betting that if you've lived in Lane County for any amount of time, you've been to the top few most popular and hence most crowded farms - Thistledown, Lone Pine, and Detering's. All 3 farms are seriously so lovely. My family visits them multiple times all summer and fall. But if you look a bit further, you can find some lesser known gems, and you will be glad you did. I've heard great things about Johnson's Farm as well as Northern Lights, but I personally haven't made it out to either of those yet. Here's where I HAVE been - Hentze Farms.
Now that I've gone and said it, I sort of want to take it back. Forget you heard that! Don't go there! Because it's such a wonderful, quiet, sweet little spot, and I don't want to have to arm wrestle any of you for parking spaces. Well okay, anyway, you should go there. Here's why:
So there you go! Hentze is only open on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, and on December 24 they close until June. I think Fridays, especially in the morning, are a great time to go. If you are looking for a laid back and super fun way to spend a few hours, please go check them out. Just don't buy up all my honey or take my parking spot. :)
Parking: Plenty of free parking
Food: There are picnic tables, so bring some cheese and meat and crackers from home and plan on buying some fruit and having yourself a perfect little picnic.
Resting/Nursing Spots: There are hay bales and picnic tables scattered around.
Push/Wear: If you're planning on heading out to the orchards to pick apples, I would wear your little. If you have a pretty tough stroller, something like a BOB, that could work too. But it's muddy in spots - so beware.
Time Frame: At least an hour or two
30065 Hentze Lane
Megan Defferding is the mom to two super fun boys who love to find great stuff to do all around Lane County! Check out her blog series, Happy Adventuring, weekly on GoMomGo.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that kids love music. They just do. No matter how often I see a baby do the "squat up and down dance" it always makes my ovaries hurt (and I also wonder how they squat like that without breaking a sweat). Not only is music fun for kiddos, but it's got so many other benefits as well. Music education woks on rhythm skills, language processing, memorization, pattern recognition, imagination, relaxation, and so many other things. While music can benefit every single child, there are some situations where music might make a giant, tangible impact on your kiddo's life. This is where music therapy comes into play.
Music therapy is using music as an intervention to accomplish individualized goals. Take a look at a few examples of what it does:
A new music therapy clinic recently opened in Eugene, so my two littles and I went to check it out. We met Danielle, a bright and cheerful expert in all things music. My two boys instantly felt comfortable with her and her space, which was open and inviting and safe. The next 45 minutes was spent patting knees, experimenting with various instruments (several of which my boys have never had the opportunity to work with previously, which was fun), learning new songs, and moving to the beat. My boys - 14 months and 4.5 years, were both super entertained the entire time. Despite my babe being a bit yowl-y as a result of skipping his nap as well as my big boy being a whole lot of crazy as a result of skipping breakfast (WHY???) Danielle didn't bat an eye and just kept on keeping on. We joined in as we could and it all felt super relaxed and adaptable. It was the kind of environment where every child is going to feel successful and supported.
Thanks so much for letting us visit Danielle!
Check out the Refuge Music Therapy website here.
Here in Lane County we have a host of October-ish things to anticipate. One is the gem of a farm we have in Detering Orchards.
For instance, long after other farms close for the season, Detering remains open. They will have u-pick produce through mid-November this year (did you know 95% of their produce is available for u-pick? which brings the price down per pound??). Once u-pick slows down, the farm store remains open until February with produce, Detering-made preserves, jams, sauces and fresh-pressed cider, locally-produced nuts, honey, and popcorn, and some truly fabulous options for fall and holiday gifts and décor.
Detering has a story.
Siblings Greig and Becky are the 3rd generation of Deterring’s to run the family farm. They’re committed to maintaining the values that their red-suspender-wearing father Roger passionately instilled…celebrating the seasons, providing affordable, family memories, and teaching children where their food comes from. Becky says, “I love the feeling of the fall here at Detering. And we all look forward to the field trips we host all season.”
And this is THE TIME of the year to visit! They kick off Apple Daze this weekend and continue through October (8am-7pm on Saturdays, 8am-6pm on Sundays). This includes:
Samples of apple cider and apple cobbler. Live music. Free corn maze and hay bale maze. Play area. Face painting. Available for low cost: apple launcher, feeding the barn animals, and a tractor ride out to the u-pick orchard (kids are actually free for that one, adults are $1).
October 8-9: join the Apple Daze Kickoff with pumpkin carving demonstrations and giveaways.
October 22-23: bring a decorated or carved pumpkin and receive free Apple Blaster tickets!
October 29-30: come dressed in your Halloween costumes for FREE apple blaster tickets and PRIZES for best costume!
My family happens to be regulars at Detering. Recently, we tramped through the mazes, hit up the sample tables, launched a dozen apples and played. But the highlight was definitely picking apples… once we aggressively interviewed the staff for their recommendations. After all, Detering has over 30 apple varietals!
The Mutsu. This is the all-around staff favorite due to its baking prowess. Because of its size, there are less overall apples to peel and they hold up really well in cobblers, crisps and pies. Becky loves all the large varietals of apples but recommends the little Jonathans for caramel apples or an easy snack for the kids. Our tractor driver, John, scoffed at the idea of picking a favorite. “Anything is my favorite when it’s picked fresh, in season.”
Other must-picks include the Melrose and the Jonagolds.
Grab this handy chart at the farm to get an idea of what kind of apples to get for your dish or sauce. U-pick vary around 72 cents/pound. Also available for picking: pears, tomatoes, peppers and flowers.
Now, go! Enjoy! Tell them GoMomGo sent you!
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