This famous question quoted from Thornton Wilder’s Our Town often lurks in my thoughts as I go about the dailies of being a stay at home mom with my two young sons. I hear it when my 4 year old asks me if he can keep sliding his bicycle through the mud at the ball field while I stand paused on the sidewalk with his brother in a stroller, trying to quiet my need to urge him to “stop and follow me” rather than live that moment with him.
But I have found one setting that allows me to effortlessly realize life while I am in it, and it never fails. I absolutely thrive when we take a trip to a farm as a family. I rarely am turned down if I invite a friend to join us. Being close to the primitive sources of life among the produce and the animals is absolutely cathartic.
While I knew Eugene well as a college student, I left in 2005 for a job. I have recently returned, and am rediscovering my city through a mother’s eyes. The one thing I know is that we would be amiss to only haul our kids out to the farm for pumpkins in the fall. It’s June; the strawberries are ready! So over the summer, my kids and I will visit different farms and will commit to learn the various ways we can partner with the food-to-table movement rumbling throughout Lane County.
Lone Pine is a farm stand that sells their own Lone Pine produce and offers produce from local and Northwest farmers at a very reasonable price. You can shop their market, pick from their seasonal crops (currently there are no-spray strawberries and flowers), visit farm animals, and enjoy the many opportunities to play with your kids. (Their biggest draw is in the fall, when they feature U-Pick pumpkins, tractor rides, corn mazes, etc. but that is another blog post).
The market at Lone Pine supplies some organic options. They also carry products from Northwest vendors at an incredible price. Some of my favorites were Humm Kombucha, Cafeto Organic coffee and Breadfarm baked goods. They also have the best prices on handmade Ghana baskets I have seen. You can also enjoy Umpqua ice cream, homemade pie, or our family’s favorite, a huckleberry cream cheese cinnamon roll.
There is lots to enjoy with young children at Lone Pine on any given day: an updated play area with some fencing, an outdoor picnic area, a gold panning opportunity (extra fee), feeding the goats on the catwalk (costs a quarter for a bucketful of feed, although kids have fun scrounging through the gravel for pieces of feed to offer the animals), and saying “hello” to the sheep, chicken and their babies.
Christy Rice is a mom to two great boys. They love to explore all that Lane County has to offer & will be sharing their adventures with GoMomGo! Hooray!