Review – The Farm Byron Bay
The Farm Byron Bay has long been on our family bucket list. The talk of the awesome bakery, farm-fresh produce and delicious restaurant had piqued our interest, but it was the activities on offer for kids that sealed the deal, so when an opportunity arose to check it all out, we donned our best adventure-wear and hit the motorway.
WHAT: The Farm Byron Bay – 11 Ewingsdale Road, Ewingsdale NSW, Australia
• Farm tours
• School holiday workshops
• Sunday workshops
• Private bookings
• Birthday parties
• School half day farm experience
• School garden plots
WHEN: 7 days – Doors open 7.00am
The boys get right into the farm vibe by hanging out on a tractor while we waited for our tour to begin.
Located just a little way into the Ewingsdale Road turnoff from the Pacific Motorway, The Farm Byron Bay is well signed and easy to find, with plenty of parking.
We were instructed to meet Trudi from Farm Kids, which is run by Kidzklub Australia, at the area signposted for tours, which happened to be right next to a great little playground area for the kids to play in while we waited.
The idea behind Farm Kids is to give children a chance to learn all about and explore a real working farm.
We were doing both a farm tour, and trying out one of the school holiday workshops. In our group was another three young lads, whose parents had left them in the capable hands of Trudi for a few hours while they went off to enjoy the other facilities on offer at The Farm Byron Bay.
The Farm Byron Bay: The Tour
You’ll need closed-in shoes for this adventure. This is a real working farm, so you’ll want to be safe and comfortable – keep the fancy clothes for another day.
Trudi met us with a huge smile, and gave us a brief safety chat before we went off to explore. We were warned that, given the surroundings, there was a chance that we might come across a snake (EEEEK!), and the children were told exactly how to react if that did happen.
However, any snake fears were soon back-of-mind because we were about to meet the first of the farm residents … PIGGIES!
The kids were able to see these gorgeous, muddy characters quite close-up, all while Trudi spoke about how they were cared for, what they ate and more. While it was not exactly safe for us to get in amongst them, we were certainly close enough that we got showered with mud when one cheeky fella gave his tail a huge swoosh while he layed in the mud. The kids, of course, thought this was the best thing EVER! Much giggling ensued.
Time to move on through The Farm Byron Bay. There was much more to see and do.
As we made our way through The Farm Byron Bay, Trudi and the kids spoke about farm life, and how farms and farmers were responsible for the food that wound up on our dinner plates. They spoke about organic foods, healthy eating, sustainability and the environment.
We came across some sunflowers, and Trudi showed the kids how the seeds were right there inside them, scraping some off and giving us a taste of them fresh from the flower. We hung onto the rest, as Trudi told us we were about to meet some more farm residents who would be happy to take them off our hands for us.
And boy was she right. We soon came across a yard FULL of chooks! Trudi explained that the fence was electric, and the kids spoke about the reasons that might necessary – such as foxes and wild cats and dogs. The kids were then shown how to turn the fence off, and in we went to chook heaven.
We spoke about how these chickens were ‘free-range’ and we could see they were certainly happy. The sunflower and seeds were handed over for them to enjoy, and the kids got a chance to pick up the chooks and see them up close – really close in some cases as they perched atop of hatted heads! We then collected eggs, because we’d be needing them soon for the workshop.
Eggs collected, it was time to move on though the farm again towards the spectacular orchard.
The beautiful orchard is home to a variety of trees that are full of nuts. The ground was covered in macadamias and more so we went gathering and had a taste as Trudi cracked them for the kids to try.
Tudi also showed us some beehives, and the kids had a chat about why bees were so important for the environment and what things we could do to encourage more bees to our gardens.
After a brief spell in the relaxing orchard, it was time to move back through The Farm Byron Bay to finish our tour. The kids were full of questions, and Trudi was more than happy to answer them.
The Farm Byron Bay: A workshop
At the completion of the tour our group went into a huge shed for the next part of our day – a school holiday workshop. I was worried about the toddler after such a long walk, but he was so excited at what he had already seen, that he was still full of beans.
Trudi explained that we were about to use the fresh eggs we had collected to make some pancakes.
Uh-oh toddler and eggs? This could get messy. Fortunately the shed was equipped with some other activities to keep him occupied while we hit the kitchen benches.
Plenty of things to keep all ages entertained and learning at The Farm Byron Bay
Time to cook! The lessons the kids had been learning about food and sustainability were really showcased here. The pigs provided the ‘poo’ that helped keep the grounds fertile for growing the sunflowers. The sunflowers fed the chooks. The chooks gave us the eggs and we were abut to use them to feed ourselves. So, so, super-cool.
But it didn’t end there, Trudi showed the kids how to crack the eggs in a way that would allow us to use the shells in the next part of the workshop.
Once the eggs were cracked, a batter was whipped up, the pancakes fried, drizzled with some lemon and sugar and straight into our eager bellies. Some kids even sprinkled theirs with the nuts they had gathered on the tour. Fresh and delicious.
Lunch done and dusted, it was time to see eggsactly (sorry) what we’d be using the saved shells for.
Trudi and the kids had a chat about plants, and seeds, and the regular kind of plastic punnets you might find seedlings in in a store. Trudi explained that eggshells made great punnets for seedlings, because they were biodegradable, meaning that you could pop them straight into the ground with no need to disturb the fragile roots of the young plants.
However, today we were using them as fun punnets to make grass heads. The kids decorated the eggshells with silly faces, filled them with soil and planted some gras seeds in them.
And that was still NOT the end of the learning. Trudi explained about the best kind of soil to use, showing the kids the worm farm they used on The Farm Byron Bay which served a two-fold purpose. Veggie scraps were fed to the worms – saving waste – and those clever little workers turned it into fertiliser to keep the crops healthy.
And, of course, to squeeze in even more fun Trudi and the kids giggled away as they held a worm race to finish off the day.
With full-bellies, full minds and huge grins from ear-to-ear we thanked Trudi for our day. It really was something else.
And of course, we made a quick pit-stop into the AMAZING bakery for some treats for later on. It would be a shame not to, right?
More about Farm Kids at The Farm Byron Bay …
Visit HERE for more details on times and activities for tours and workshops.
P: 0429 770 147
E: [email protected]