Natasha and Lawrence McCrary have taken a family dream and created a new way of life. 1818 Farms is their dream come true: they have “a small profitable farm where we could teach our children to appreciate the land and animals and to be good conservationists.”
Last weekend we had an opportunity to visit the farm with our kids. It was a fun and educational afternoon! Straight from the horse’s mouths, here is what they had to say:
Isaac loved the Babydoll Southdown Sheep and the Great Pyrenees Dog named Justice. Both animals have landed a spot on his Christmas Wish List. He also liked the twin goats.
Aiden fell in love with the orange barn cats, especially the one called Trouble! The cat greeted us upon our arrival and it was love at first sight.
Libby said her favorite part was gathering the fresh eggs. She was amazed by the different types of eggs: cream, brown, brown with speckles and even a pale blue. The McCrary’s take the eggs to local farmer’s markets and sell approximately five dozen a week.
Andy was shocked by the way the hens bathe. If the kids could take a bath in this manner they would be clean all the time. Did you know chickens take dust baths? The chickens find some warm, dry, loose material like dirt, sand, or mulch; and proceed to dig themselves in. They’ll dig and dig, throwing dirt all over themselves. There is a large tree near the chicken coop where the “bath house” can be found. This exercise also cleans their feathers and skin of dust mites and parasites.
Caroline Grace is our animal lover and simply could not choose. She loved ALL of the animals. Her favorite may have been Cupcake the potbellied pig. She is the Queen of the Farm.
1818 Farms, named after the year Mooresville was incorporated, is constantly evolving. What began as a little dream is now a business for this family. You can find the McCrary’s at Greene Street Market in Huntsville and at the Athens Farmer’s Market. They sell their goods at Harrison Brothers in downtown Huntsville and Salon Katerra, Portobello Gifts, Mooresville Mercantile and in their online store at www.1818farms.com.
There are several opportunities to visit the farm. 1818 Farms doesn’t have set hours but they are open by appointment ($5 per person for a farm tour) and for events such as children’s birthday parties, girl scout/boy scout outings, private tours, photo shoots, sheep shearing parties (once per year), Farm-to-Table Dinners and Story Time Adventures. Natasha is constantly dreaming up more fun activities so it is best to get on their email list or friend them on their Facebook Page.
If You Go
- Bring a camera
- It is a farm, unless you are going for a photo shoot, allow the kids to wear play clothes
- For parties keep the number small (10 guests plus the bday child)… it’s an intimate setting where smaller is better for learning, attention and better opportunity for hands on involvement by all
- I would recommend if doing a birthday party that the children are all at least four years old, especially boys. This is an opportunity to learn, touch, and interact. Younger children may not have the attention span for this.
- If the event you are attending does not provide a meal, pack a picnic.
- Bring a little extra spending money to indulge yourself. Moms you should treat yourselves and buy one of the Lavender Goat’s Milk Bath Teas. After planning such a wonderful outing for your family or your child’s bday you deserve a respite in the form of a luxurious bath!
Born in Germany, but raised in Huntsville, Melika Nixon brings a unique perspective to travel and culture. As a nurse practitioner and single mother to seven-year-old twin boys, including one with serious medical issues, she brings an even more keen perspective to traveling with children. She frequently writes about creative, cost-effective ways to introduce children to the world through the gift of travel.