Little Farm in the City

There is a fabled place in Berkeley known as the Little Farm. All the moms know about it. It’s free. It’s open everyday. They have livestock. And kids can feed them celery.

Somehow, we had never been there before. I don’t know why exactly – perhaps because it’s on the far side of campus up in the hills? Or maybe it’s because we’re lazy parents who don’t know a good thing when it’s there for free right in front our noses…

Regardless, a couple weekends ago we finally made it to the Little Farm, and we had some serious fun. We went with our buddies the Graham-De Leons and had a great, great day. Here are some of the highlights!

It all began with the chickens…

Shannon and Marco luring the chickens closer with celery.

Marco meet Ms. Chicken. Ms. Chicken meet Marco.

A potential contestant for Miss Poultry USA 2011?

From there we moved on to the goats. Probably the hungriest goats ever. Seriously. They were voracious consumers of celery, clothing and anything else that got too close. Ryan and Marco pretty much kept their distance. But Renata? She was a goat feeding champ!

Chomp. Chomp. Chomp.

After the excitement of the Goat Gluttony, we checked out the sheep and cows. But after the thrill go the goats, they didn’t really wow us, you know? (It just wasn’t their day to shine, I guess.)


The old work jeep, on the other hand, provided all sorts of fun and hands-on excitement!

It was a lovely morning. Warm, clear and decidedly autumn-like. ¬†For those of you who don’t know the ways of the Northern California Mediterranean climate – winter is the greenest and wettest time of year. It’s lovely, and I miss the greenness come the dry months in the summer and fall.

Enjoying the great outdoors!

Is that Ireland, you ask? Look at the GREEN!!

Carlos and Marco. Showing off some large yellow leaves. (Given the climate here, leaves like that are pretty hard to come by. I miss the East Coast foliage more and more each year...)

After the Little Farm, we weren’t sure we could handle much more fun. Ryan was fading and nap time beckoned. But Carlos and Shannon encouraged us to take a drive over to the miniature steam trains (also famous locally, and no, we hadn’t been there either – we clearly need to get out more). We decided to go for it – risking the cranky toddler meltdown. Ryan was riveted and loved every minute! First, we started with the larger of the trains and took a winding journey through the redwoods and eucalyptus groves in the Berkeley Hills.

Miniature Steam Trains

The Hartmann Family spotted in nature!

Family fun all around!

Taking it all in as it whizzed by.

But then – as if we hadn’t filled our mornings with oodles of fun and adventure – we saw that the teeny tiny mini trains were running! We rushed over and jumped on board.

Even smaller trains!

A teeny tiny trestle!

Watching the world go by!

Tiny Train Scenery. Hard to capture with a phone camera on the move... but cute! Ryan loved the little houses along the way.

Tiny Train Depot

After the second train ride we packed the kiddo up and hit the road for home. She was out in a flash. But she hasn’t stopped talking about the goats, the farm or the trains ever since! I think we’ll be back very, very soon. Given how cooped up we’ve been since Dan’s knee surgery, a day in the “country” will be much needed change of scenery.



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