Since so few kids these days have ever lived on a farm, or had family/friends who lived on a farm, there is quite a bit of "disconnect" between the foods youngsters see in the supermarket, and the knowledge of where food really comes from. Some kids might even believe the title of this blog, and think that the familiar candy we call "marshmallow" actually does come from a chopped-up version of the big, white marshmallow-like objects shown in the top photo of this collage. (The actual origin of the name for the white candy is that when it was first made, it resembled a plant called the "mallow" that was commonly found found growing in a marsh, and hence the term "marshmallow") Also, a youngster with no concept of where their food comes from might truly believe that the animals pictured in the lower photo are the ones responsible for "hatching the eggs" that later turn into Oreo cookies! These previous sentences explain my reasons for being thankful that there are places like Meadow View Farm ( http://www.meadow-view-farm.com/ ) in Vermont where school groups, or any group for that matter, can take a tour and learn about food origins.
Meadow View Farm is located in the "Northeast Kingdom" of Vermont, and is a fully-operational beef farm with one of the country's largest herds of registered Belted Galloway cattle. ( Belted Galloways developed during the 16th century in the former Galloway district of Scotland). In addition to the cattle operation, visitors can learn about the farm's organic gardens and orchard, plus take advantage of services offered by their spa (http://www.steppingstonesspa.com/) .
The name of the farm suggests that one will view a meadow from their location, but in actuality, one can also see the mountains and valleys, as well as the meadow, from the higher locations of the 845 acres that comprise the farm. In addition, it is close to the Kingdom Trails (http://www.kingdomtrails.org/) that are popular with cyclists (as illustrated by the three bikers shown in lower left photo, who were also enjoying the scenery on the day I visited).
To me, the most memorable thing about Meadow View Farm was the beautiful chapel that sat on a high hill overlooking all of the property (top photo of collage). It was built in 2006 by the Downing family (lower left photo) as a demonstration of gratitude to God for the success their various business ventures have experienced. I was reminded of the story in the Bible (Luke 17:11-19) where Jesus healed 10 lepers of their disease, but only one of the healed men came back to express his gratitude to Jesus for his healing. The Downings have demonstrated that they are in the "one in ten" category, as they have beautifully expressed their gratitude for the blessings they have received. You can read more on the history and current activities of the chapel at http://www.chapeloftheholyfamily.com/ For additional information on this and many other outstanding Vermont attractions, click on http://www.vermonttourismnetwork.com/ Here's wishing you miles of smiles! Tricia