Windmill Hill City Farm is a charity that provides a green oasis in the hustle and bustle of Bristol’s city centre. It offers a community garden, a day nursery as well as an extensive workshop program, a cafe and lots of farm animals for little ones to admire.
Amy loves animals and as we were both getting bored from sitting inside all the time due to the horrendous British weather, we decided to wrap up warm and enjoy a morning on the farm. We had only been once before and Amy didn’t really enjoy it then, but I think she was a little too young to grasp what was happening around her.
This time however, she loved every second of her little farm adventure. After a short trip to the chickens, Amy said hello to the geese that were snacking on some grass, but for some reason she kept going back to the chicken enclosure to give everyone that was unfortunate enough to come across her a very detailed tour of the area and an even more thorough description of the chickens.
I think she must have her fascination for poultry from her great grandad. He’s had a chicken coop ever since I remember and treats his hens like royalty. Organic sprouts and salad fresh from his garden are a daily luxury for them.
Despite Amy’s chicken obsession, I quite liked this fella. Doesn’t he look incredibly elegant? I think it’s the long neck that reminded me of a swan which then carried me away to Swan Lake, but yeah, let’s stop it there. I know I have some crazy thought processes going on sometimes, especially as this little beauty is a goose, but that’s how it went. No point in lying, is there?
After a good twenty minutes with our feathery friends, I could finally convince Amy to move on to the next area of the farm which by the way is really well sign posted. You find lots of information about all the animals on little posters outside of their stables and meadows and colourful wooden critters accompany you on your walk around the farm.
The sheep weren’t in the best of moods unfortunately, I guess they were just tired, but Amy got bored of them quite quickly – mainly because she couldn’t see them very well behind the high wall, so we didn’t spend too much time with them on this occasion.
She really loved the colourful mosaic just opposite the stables though and believe me, had I let her, she would have stood in front of it all day. We pointed out the different pictures, naming the animals, plants and colours and then walked over to the duck pond.
Amy counted eight ducks of different breeds (not that we’d know which ones they were) and kept getting the giggles whenever her feathery friends repeated her duck noises. It was too funny to look at.
Something really lovely when walking around the farm with Amy was seeing little pops of colour here and there, reminding us that winter will hopefully soon be over. I actually love winter, but not when it’s as grey and miserable as over here in the UK. Snow would have made a welcome change.
While I walked along muddy paths, pondering about springtime and all the fun adventures we could go on once the weather gets better, Amy celebrated the imminent arrival of spring with one of Barny’s tasty new snacks. She’s a big fan of the chocolate and vanilla flavour, so I was really curious to see how she’d react to the fruity core of the new apple and strawberry snacks, but as you can see from her face – they went down a treat. Ben really likes them too, so often the two of them end up battling each other for the last cake in the box. I know whose puppy dog eyes win me over every time, but do you think…
… I should hire Nessie, one of the fun art installations around Windmill Hill City farm, as an independent referee next time? If I’m lucky, they find him/her/it (has anyone ever found out the gender of the Loch Ness monster?) scary enough to distract them while I sneakily grab the last Barny and hide in the bathroom.
We continued our walk past newly planted flower beds, discovered the greenhouse where tulip bulbs were curiously starting to poke out of the soil and even found a little secret garden with a pond and wooden animals.
When we stopped near a little picnic area, Amy actually had me speechless for a moment. She collected some sticks, piled them up like a camp fire and then pretended to make fire by rubbing two of the sticks against each other. I have no clue where she has this scout knowledge from seeing that she’s only two, but it looks like I’m safe with Amy should we ever get lost in a forest.
All her hard work made her hungry again and so, in between collecting sticks and making fire, we had a second Barny snack – completely guilt-free as they aren’t filled with an nasties and I therefore don’t mind Amy having one or two of them. They’re individually wrapped and perfect for lunch boxes, picnics or to take on little adventures – plus you can discover a hidden fruity core in every cake. What’s not to like?
After our little pit stop, we continued our farm adventure and followed the signs to the pig sty. When we couldn’t find them, we were a little worried for them, but we shouldn’t have been as they had just moved into the stables where it’s probably a little warmer and more comfy for the winter months.
And comfy they looked. Windmill Hill City Farm has three pigs at the moment. A massive pink one and two spotted ones that were so warm and snuggly in their bed of hay that they didn’t move at all.
The pink boar however did move and he entertained Amy for what seemed like an eternity. He slowly trotted out of the stable, looked around, shook off the stray and then he wee’d and wee’d and wee’d. I am not joking, but he was going for a good three minutes and Amy couldn’t stop laughing her deepest belly laugh. It was hysterical and by far the most impressive thing I have ever seen – I just don’t want to imagine blue whales’ bladder contents now.
Once we had found back to our regular breathing pattern, our next adventure was already waiting for us. Two nosey calves, only 12 weeks old, kept looking over the wall and waited to be smoothed. They might have only been 12 weeks old, so technically still newborns, but they were big – very big even when you are a two year old toddler. Amy however wasn’t phased by them at all. She held her hand out to smooth the calf’s head and then quickly pulled it back when it licked her hand and coat with its tickly dry tongue.
On our way out, we quickly said hello to the rabbits that were lazing around in the straw dust and found out more about guinea pigs, which Amy still insists are called mini pigs, but what do I know!?
Just before slipping out the door and hitting the playground, we washed our hands though – you never know what you might have on your hands after some cow smoothing and fence climbing and you don’t want your fun adventure spoilt by bugs and bacteria, do you?
This post is an entry for BritMums ‘Winter Little Adventures Challenge’ sponsored by Barny, individually wrapped bear-shaped sponges with a hidden filling. Find out more about Barny here.