Monday, 8 June 2015




The Von Thun Country Farm exemplifies the optimum use of land resources in the best profitable manner of business as well as agricultural yield. We want to explore and learn something new. So, we reach the Von Thun's country farm by 11 AM. It is a sunny morning today and soon the whole place is full of people with their children, all in a picnic mood. The farm is quite big with hectares of land used for growing green vegetables, fresh fruits, horticulture. There are animals too, like sheep, goats and horses on the farm. But it's mainly for fruits, vegetables and horticulture.A museum gives a glimpse of the hand driven/pulled plow, cart and other agricultural equipment, clothes'dryer, sewing machine which reminds me of my grandmother's Singer sewing machine and grandfather's old gramophone that had a box, a handle, the HMV records and the loud speaker. They are now antiques and deserve to be placed in a museum for well preservation.

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The farm serves a good open space for children's fun filled outdoor activities where they can see, do, observe, play and learn. The Bee Buzz in the Bee Barn is a good brain teaser for young ones. Then there are sheep, goat and donkey barns. There is a marigold checker game because the pumpkins are not ready yet. The Peter Pumpkin does the animatronic talking about ho the pumpkins are grown at Von Thun's farm. The pumpkin bowling is quite a fun in which a pumpkin is rolled down the lane to hit all the bowling pins. There is moon bounce for little ones. For a little older ones, there is the pedal-kart course. It is quite a fun to see the children sitting, hiding, jumping in the middle of a pile of straw while they toss it in the air and at each other. This makes me remember my days spent at my native village. We enjoyed playing Hide and Seek in the hay stack in the barn but when we washed our hands and feet, they started burning and itching. Our grand mother, then, applied oil and massaged it to let the scratches heal, chiding us. I find a toddler lost in the Straw Maze. Behind him, walks his dad, to help him find his way out. It's nice to see the moms and dads giving time to their children and enjoying with them too instead getting irritated.

It's Strawberry picking time of the year. Some children enjoy painting strawberries on their face. We pick a basket and move into the furrows of the strawberry field. They all are ripe now. Many get crushed under the pickers' feet. One pound of strawberry if free on the admission charge of strawberry picking. They are so fresh and juicy that we could not resist eating them. But, since it is not allowed to eat, we have to check the temptation.

The Hay rides is of fifteen minutes in which we taken to a Pumpkin and Vegetable patch, located on the far side of the farm. We pass the apple orchard, blue berry orchard, a pond and corn fields. The hay ride makes me drive through the memory lane of riding in a bullock cart to the Pausi-Purnima Fair, held near the Koshi-Barrage on India-Nepal border. My brothers and I waited eagerly for this time of the year. We rode in the early morning, sitting huddled with each other, with our grand mother, aunt and cousins. Dukkhan chacha sat behind the pair of bullocks and sang a folk song to keep the winter-chill at bay. I still remember, the dip in the Koshi river in that biting cold. After that, we feasted on curd and flattened rice with jaggery balls. We have all the things in our country to enjoy but we shut off the simple, rural pleasures by adulterating it with dreams of a king size life.

The pony ride on the farm, draws huge crowd. Even, toddlers who can't walk straight, sit on the back of ponies and pose themselves to be clicked and enjoy the ride.

We have a packet of pop-corns and chicken nuggets under the cool shade of Sycamore trees. There are wooden tables and benches placed for the visitors. A pet cat comes there to feast on the leftovers. She is a cute fat cat. The children now, done away with all the games and activities, play with her.
Two cousin sisters come to watch the cat which is sleeping on the table after eating the crumbs of chicken nuggets and pop corns. The elder seems very fond of cats  She strokes its neck and back softly while the younger one seems quite amused about it. Just then, their brother comes and pour water on the cat's back. The cat gets up with a start, purrs and stretches its body. She, then quietly moves away from there as like a saintly figure, undisturbed from the miscreants' activities.
There is a farm product shop at the exit point, It sells fresh farm-grown fruits and vegetables, honey, jellies, marmalade, butter, candies etc. We buy zucchini for pasta from there and get back by 2.00 PM.

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