The CLO here arranged a fun farm visit a few weeks ago, just in time for autumn weather. It was originally priced higher then a ticket to Disney, but the price came down and so I decided to brave Neko’s potential melt-down for the lack of a good nap. We left Panda back at the ranch with the sitter, and Mister was on a trip to the USA, so it was some quality time for just Neko, me and the cows.
Our rather officious, though cheerful, tour guide managed to shatter part of my camera in her attempt to fold up our stroller and throw it under the bus before I’d barely had a change to take Neko out of it, so that put a bit of a damper on the day, and slowed down the blogging about it until I forced Mister to upload the pics for me. I don’t really want to see the broken camera again because it makes me sad.
The day started at Tae Shin Agroland farm, a tourist farm sponsored by a corporate cattle company. It was surprisingly cute, and there were 20 or more calves there, which added to the cuteness. Neko was not ready to actually touch the cows, but she practiced her mooing and made several attempts to sneak into the various animal pens. She wanted to be in there with them on her own terms, not petting them from the outside. Most of the videos I shot in the cattle area end with me ‘dropping’ the shot and running after her as she attempts to climb over the fences. This one ends before she bolts.
After visiting the cowshed, there was a chance for some of the older kids to milk a cow. Since we’d arrived at the beginning of the day, the cow was very desperate to be milked. VERY DESPERATE. Her calf was tethered about 20 feet away, and the cow was nearly screaming her moos. This rather discouraged most of the would-be milkers. Neko’s comment, turning to me with a surprised face, “Cow Loud!” She then visited the little calf and got massively licked.
We got a chance to ride on a trailer pulled by a big tractor. Neko was entranced by the trailer, until the tractor started to move, and then she needed to be held. Since she’s not much of a cuddler and usually overly brave, it was a cute moment for me. The tractor pulled us around the other parts of the farm and we saw sheep, pigs, deer, emu, a camel, ponies, and some other animals. There was also a mini-zoo area for the smaller farm animals where they had geese, bunnies, and babies.
The best part of all was a bird house full of finches that were very tame and landed on you as you walked through. They also pecked at your shoes and clothes looking for food. Most of the other kids and adults were a bit unnerved by this, but Neko loved it.
In the afternoon, after a rather disappointing lunch of beef bone soup (rather tough to do while trying to corral a hungry toddler who also would like a bite but can’t eat brothy soup from a spoon), we headed to Asan, a pear growing village. Asian pears are delicate and pricey, compared to their bosc counterparts. At the pear village, we hiked a bit of a way through the orchards from the central building until we reached the specific 4 trees we were allowed to touch and pick from. It gave us a chance to try out the back carry on the Ergo, something I’d never used before. We were each allowed to pick 4 pears. Each pear was wrapped in a paper and newsprint bag to prevent insects from touching it and help it properly ripen. Some of the pears were for export, and the bags were labelled with their destination (I picked one destined for Ohio, now they can’t have it). Neko helped choose which pears we got, but it was a bit of a crap shoot. You have no idea what the pear looks like, since it’s wrapped up. They turned out to be great, though, perfectly round and tasty. There was a lot of concern from the farmers that we would accidentally touch pears from other trees or bruise the pears we weren’t picking, as they seem to be very sensitive. (Oddly, as the pears, once picked, keep like an apple). I think they were mostly concerned that they maximize their potential profit, and the tourist aspect of the farm is only a sideline.
After the pear picking, we returned to the center of the village and learned how to make pear kimchi. Thankfully they provided us with additional pears and we didn’t have to sacrifice our newly picked bounty. In the process, Neko and her slightly older friend got a chance to practice some of their knife skills. The teacher had provided us with kid-friendly knives that actually did a decent job of cutting pear but not skin. The kimchi was tasty, rather sweet and sour, but we made SO MUCH, it was crazy. I think they could have easily given us half the amount of pears to start from and we would have still had too much. Since it’s a fresh kimchi, it has to be eaten within a day or so of being made, and we had two full jars each. Way too much kimchi, especially for the family of 8!
Neko stayed awake most of the day and only caught a bit of a cat-nap on the bus ride home (it was at least 2 hours each way to the farming area). She barely fussed all day, except for during the difficult lunch. However, the extremely happy day was capped off for her because Mister was home from America when we got back. I was so proud of her patience with the whole day and I’m looking forward to similar adventures in the future.