Blog and Photos by Zeke Rothschild-Checroune
On Saturday July 13th, 2013, the Family Care Office (FCO) held a potluck picnic at Hart House Farm.
Hart House Farm is located about an hour and a half away from U of T’s St. George campus in the Caledon Hills.
The potluck was great, everyone brought a little food and we all ended up with a great variety of goodies. Since it’s summer, we had lots of watermelon and great fruit salads to refresh us; and because there were kids at the potluck, there was a good amount of chocolate treats to keep them pleased. Personally, I really enjoyed tasting foods that I would otherwise not make myself.
Thankfully there were enough drinks to go around too, because it was a pretty hot day. Luckily the weather cooperated as it was hot, but not too humid, and a cool breeze filled the air. But staying in the sun for too long left me with a nice farmer’s tan on my neck.
The farm was full of open green spaces. The picnic benches were pleasantly shaded. Those who decided to venture down a path past the wall of relentless mosquitoes were eventually treated to a nice pond. I got about halfway there, but was frustrated so much by the bugs that I decided to turn around and head back to the main house with the picnic tables.
The age range of kids varied from around 2-11 years old and they got involved in a variety of activities including storytelling, flag making, baseball, soccer, capture the flag, Frisbee, badminton, and of course, eating. Some even ventured out into the bush and picked some fresh raspberries to eat. The kids even put on a little act in the mini stone built amphitheatre for all the parents to wrap up the day.
As for the farm, aside from a little chicken coop and two pet dogs, there wasn’t much “farm” to this trip. It would have been nice to see more animals or crops being harvested. Really, it just seemed like an oversized cottage with a lot of land (150 acres worth!).
Overall, it was a very pleasant trip out. It was very relaxing for parents and lots of fun for the kids. Ah yes, it felt great to be out of the city!
Was it worth the trek out about 90 km from campus to go to this farm? The highlights of this day were the potluck itself, playing games in the open fields, and mingling with other U of T parents. Could this have been done somewhere else? Sure, we could have easily held this event at Queens’ Park, the Beaches, or some other open-air venue in the city. But we wouldn’t have felt that sense of space and openness if we remained within the city. Plus, the facilities at the farm were very convenient. We were able to keep the food fresh in the fridge, there was shade and shelter, and even beds in case anyone needed a nap.
The day flew by, it was such a blast. My son asked if we could stay all day, and we did. I guess he was okay with leaving when everyone else did too.
A nice little bonus, on the way there, we saw these “Badlands.” The badlands were a truly unique sight to see, a really fun discovery, and something you definitely could not find in the city. I felt sorry for those who took the bus back to campus and didn’t have the chance to stop here.
Next time the FCO organizes another event like this (whether at the farm or not), I’ll be more than glad to bring my family along and mingle with other U of T families.