This week my Dad was on holidays and he came up to Ottawa for a visit. One of the things we did while he was here was spend an afternoon at the Museum of Agriculture which has an actual, functional farm on it. I'd never been there before and wasn't quite sure what to expect.*
Tavi, who loves cats and dogs from a distance was pretty comfortable with the animals that were behind a fence. She was fascinated with the sheep (maybe because she a few stuffed sheep toys at home) and was quite brave around them. When a really big one came up to the fence in front of her she lifted her hand up to try and touch it without even flinching! She had no problem reaching in between the bars and giving the other sheep a pat, although she wasn't quite sure what to make of the texture of their wool.
We spent a lot of time in the different barns and the only animal Tavi seemed afraid of were the cows. I had forgotten how big they were until we were just a few feet away from them. Tavi was fearful until she was safely strapped into her stroller and moving away quickly. In another section of the barn that housed the calves she was fine.
After visiting most of the barns we ended up at the Learning Centre Complex where we ate our picnic lunch. We didn't spend a lot of time looking at the exhibits because it was getting close to nap time, but it was interesting to get a glimpse of what was there. I will bring Tavi back to the farm when she's a bit older, I think it will be a great tool along with going to the farmers market and berry picking, in teaching her where food comes from and why we choose to eat the way we do.
*It turns out, like the zoo, I had mixed feelings about the farm. Some animals seemed happy and comfortable in their conditions and seemed to enjoy the attention of visitors while others, like the dairy cows, looked pretty uncomfortable and unhappy. I think it was good to visit because I had an idea in my head of what a farm would be like and this was a dose of reality.