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.
- Hentze is a certified century farm. That means that the same family has owned and operated the farm for over 100 years. This means that it's a small, working operation, so they've got actual farm tasks to accomplish. Once while I was buying my honey, the lady had to stop checking me out so she could go chase a goat out of the chicken pen.
- Speaking of honey. We use a ton of honey at our house - we put it in ALL the things. Hentze sells honey that is made by bees on their farm and then processed locally. It is sooooo yummy, and very reasonably priced. Pick up a jar when you're there.
- The owners are super laid back. This farm is their home - and they are just so friendly and welcoming. The first time we went to pick apples, about 2 years ago, they handed us some buckets, waved in the general direction of the trees, and cut us loose. Very casual, which I feel like is awesome when you're wrangling kiddos.
- There are all sorts of fun animals to watch. They've got chickens, cows (loud cows!), goats, and more. They even have a pair of peacocks. So cool right?
- Check out the farm equipment they have inside the farm stand building. It's real, working machinery that processes cherries, nuts, and more. If you're lucky, you'll see them running it. Go ahead, try and find something more impressive to a 5 year old.
- If you hurry up and go this week, you can catch a hayride out to the pumpkin patch.
- If you make applesauce, which you will after the tutorial that I'm posting in a week or so, you have to go out to Hentze and pick apples. I didn't look at the prices for U-Pick this year yet, but last year it was $0.33/pound. That is insanely cheap. And making applesauce is the easiest way to feel like a homesteader.
- In case your littles are interested in feeding the animals, there are little cups of feed for sale inside the farm stand.
- There are lots of old tractors scattered around - my boys LOVE to sit on them and pretend to plow ye olde crops and such. :)
- Particularly as we get deeper into rainy season, be sure to dress your littles in boots and layers, because they will get pretty messy. Bring an extra change of clothes.
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.