Traveling close to home

September 27, 2009 at 10:31 am Leave a comment

Who has the time to get away every week?  I do!  And guess what.  You probably do, too.

Now, this is not the kind of get away where I get on a jet plane.  Nor is it the kind that leads me to a long drive fraught with traffic jams and glare in my face.  Nor is it even the kind of getaway that entails sleeping in any bed but my own.

Every week, I make a trip (about 5 miles from my apartment) to our local farm.  Although we no longer live in the city proper, we don’t live far outside it’s boarder.  And even though we have a small yard, the farm is like going to a completely different world.  Our farm is Boston’s oldest continuous working farm, Allandale Farm.*  I love, love, love going to Allandale.  Time almost stops, and if the weather is nice, its a great place to explore a little.  Kids are usually running around having a great time.   So if you’re towing little ones, this is a great place.  I don’t have any little kidlets yet, but I go to the farm stand to pick up my produce for the week, and gawk at the pretty flowers and plants.  Sometimes, I go a little further.

Do you want to see the little trip I took yesterday?

It was one of those perfect New England early autumn days.  The air was a little crisp, there was a light breeze, and the sun was out with nary a cloud in sight.

The leaves have begun to turn, a little more in earnest now.  Although we have a tree or two in our little neighborhood starting to turn, these are somehow more idylic.

Here’s a view of the farm stand from the gravel parking lot.  The entire front is so wonderfully manicured and colorful, through all the seasons.

There’s a little storage building right as you enter.

The fall gourds are getting harvested, too.  I just love those colors.  These are in another storage building along side.  They’ll go out for sale when the other supply needs replenishing.

Behind the farm stand, they have something a little special.  They have bee hives.  The honey has been harvested, and it was on sale yesterday.  Talk about local?

Not 20 feet away from the bees? MOO COWS!  These two not so little guys were grazing on this shady knoll.  They could have cared less about me and my little camera all the way across the little pond.  But seriously, cows, in Boston?  This is what makes this a travel-like experience.  You get transported to another way of life. To another type of community.  Who cares if it is only 5 miles away?

Did I mention a pond?  There it is on the right.  It also has lily pads all across the surface.  The pumpkins are everywhere!  And there probably aren’t too many big green tractors near the city, either!

In addition to produce, they also sell flora.  These are some beautiful succulants, I think.

I love this little guy.  A scare owl, anyone?  It was a plastic owl, stuck on a stake.  Since it wasn’t a tight fit, it sort of moved a little in the wind.  That should do the job, right?  I’m no farmer, but I like it anyhow.

These are a bunch of beautiful flowers and other plants on sale.  Talk about making an attractive display.

They interspersed some small gourds with the mums.  Anyone feel like it’s fall yet?

If you weren’t sure yet, the firewood bundles might be the thing to push you over the edge.  Cozy up by a wood burning fire?  The weather is starting to speak to me.  Fall is my favorite season.

The farm stand is full of beautiful, fresh produce.  They grow most of it on their fairly vast land.  Those that they don’t grow come from other local farms in the area.  They don’t grow apples, for instance, but get them from a place a few miles away.

The pumpkins on display.  That is a beautiful orange.

And back in the parking lot.  You can see the mums and ornamental grasses and one of their green houses.

So was it an overseas trip? No.

Did I get to see something beautiful and different? Yes.

And the best part?  It only took me 10 minutes to get there.

And I got one of my errands done at the same time.  I got my veggies for the week (for a lot less than it would have cost me a the grocery store).

I saw COWS.  In the CITY.

And I got to see lots of pretty things that I didn’t have to grow myself (my green thumb isn’t so great — I try, but we just don’t get  the right kind of light inside, and since we rent I can’t put things into the ground).

I’d like to encourage you to go explore some little place near where you live.  It doesn’t matter if you are in the middle of the city.  Go walk around another part of your city that you don’t know very well.  Play the tourist in your own town.  If you’ve got little kids, they can come without as much of a hassle.  It’s cheaper, it’s easy since you won’t likely get lost, and there’s no overnight accommodation needed!

Take an hour and get away.  On your own terms.

* Allandale also has events throughout most of the year, like hay rides, scarecrow building workshops, and planting workshops.  Check the event calendar for more info.

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Entry filed under: Over, Travel, Vegetables.

I think Mark Bittman has been stalking my Flickr account Overnight honey whole wheat bread loaves, cooling

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