A tour of Grace Springs Farm has long been on our to-do list, and now that we’ve visited we absolutely recommend you add it to yours. It’s a lovely way to have snuggles with furry and feathery farm friends and a great way to show your kids where food comes from. If your kids have never collected eggs from a chook or seen a cow being milked this hands-on tour is a lovely way to introduce them to the whole concept of paddock-to-plate.
Virginia Mall, her husband Tony and their two teenage children manage the small family-run Grace Springs Farm at Kulnura. They bought the 26-acre property in 2012 and now produce grass-fed and grass-finished beef, pastured eggs, pastured chicken, pastured muscovy duck, vegetables, garlic and honey. They ran their first farm tour during the 2017 Harvest Festival and today they run regular morning chores tours as well as private tours for school vacation groups and preschools.
The day we visit the tour starts in the back paddock with their Guernsey dairy cows. This is a chance for kids to watch a cow being milked by hand and machine and then we’re lucky enough to see Lola’s calf, Lotta, have her morning feed too.
A morning tea of watermelon, chocolate brownies and scones is produced. Virginia’s daughter is the baker on site and her offerings would be well regarded by the Country Women’s Association. The scones are light and delicious and the kids gobble down the brownies without offering up a crumb.
It’s time to collect the eggs. Virginia welcomes kids and adults to try to catch any of the hens for a cuddle. The feed is scattered and the eggs are carefully collected by lots of little farm helpers.
Two large sheep are fed a basket of chaff and everyone’s invited to have a pet. We check in on the ducks – some of which are nesting – before moving on to pet the meat chickens. It’s fascinating to see how different they are in shape to the egg-laying chooks.
We’re offered some tastings of the veggie patch before we head to the bee hives where Tony answers everyone’s questions on bee keeping and honey collecting.
Each of the children has a turn in the seat of the tractor before being given a cuddle of some 3-week-old chicks at the end of the tour.
No-one is rushed or moved on and Virginia has a way of making everyone feel very at ease. We’ve been on tours before where the number of rules has eliminated the fun. Here, at Grace Springs Farm, you don’t feel corralled or schooled, which is very refreshing.
This is hands-on fun. Your kids will love it. You’ll love it. And you’ll no doubt all learn a great deal about farm life too.
Grace Springs Farm, Kulnura
Cost: $16.50/person and tots under 2 are free.
- They’re about to have ducklings hatch. Want to see them while they’re tiny and new? They’re running special mini tours on Sunday 21 and 28 October 2pm-3pm.
- Morning Chores tours (8am-9.30am) are running 15, 17, 23 and 27 October.
- Farm tours (9.30am-11.30am) are running 4, 11 and 17 November.
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