Gettin’ Down on the Farm

3 Apr

One of the many things we love about living here in Germany is the unfamiliarity. I know, I know, I was just talking last week about missing the comforts of home- and yes, there are definitely those moments peppered in each and every week- but one of the things we’d truly looked forward to was the unknown. The newness. The feeling our way in the dark. What I mean is that, in Charleston, it’s rare to find ‘new’ things. We know the best restaurants, we know where to go if we want to see flowers, we know the good beaches, the best day trips, and where to get an oil change. We know where to go when we’re sick and where to buy party supplies and the perfect rainy day spots. Here, we’re figuring all of that out and even though it’s frustrating at times, it’s exhilarating and it gives this neat sense of pride when it actually works out.

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Where am I going with all this? Well, spring (finally) arrived here at the end of last week. (Not sure if it’s here to stay quite yet, but it doesn’t matter- this weekend had a beautiful forecast and that’s all we cared about!) We were determined to get outside and explore, but we didn’t want to go far. Back at home, we would’ve known our options- downtown to Waterfront Park, out to one of the beaches (probably Folly, though, because it’s the best, duh), over to one of the Gardens on Hwy 61…But here, what did that even look like?? Luckily, I remembered my hair stylist telling me about a farm she’d heard about just 30 miles outside of the city- she’d heard it had animals and stuff for kids and lots of nature. SOLD! Sonnenhof, here we come!

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I know, right?! Look at this place! The most beautiful countryside with the greenest grass and the prettiest flowers. You could literally feel the Earth waking up from its long winter slumber. Blooms and buds and vibrancy and LIFE.

So Sonnenhof is a private farm that opens its door- er, gates- to the public so city folks- like us- can experience nature and beauty and simplicity when they need to. Their slogan is, ‘Here, nature still feels real.’ And that’s so true. The best part is that it’s hidden and secluded. Tourists haven’t found it and articles haven’t been written about it. They don’t advertise. So you really feel like you’ve found such a gem.

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You’re free to roam about the property however you’d like. I don’t know how many acres it is, but it’s plenty. Definitely more than 100. Nestled in the rolling pastures are fields of farm animals, buildings with a cafe and a market, barns, gardens and meandering pathways.

One of Neve’s favorite parts was snuggling with the bunnies and the chicks. She got to learn about how they interact, how they build their beds (we watched a rabbit for nearly 20 minutes ferrying hay into her box and gently mash it down into the perfect half bowl for her body), how they ‘sun’ themselves under the heat lamps…

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Out in the pastures, we visited with sheep, goats, horses and cows. Neve was in love with one friendly sheep’s wild hair, so we used it as an opportunity to talk about the wool can be shaved off and made into the clothes that we wear. (By sheer coincidence, we passed a window display on our way to dinner last night that had cotton stalks, so we got to continue the conversation with another example!)

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On the opposite side of the farm were adventure courses with zip lines (two for kids, two for adults), a ropes, trampolines with trapezes and playgrounds…There’s truly something for everyone!

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As you can probably see, the sun was hit or miss while we were on the farm and the temperatures didn’t reach their highs until almost dinner time, but it didn’t matter. Sonnehof ended up being everything we wanted it to be and more. The folks there are so generous to open their space to strangers- and I say generous because so much of it is free! No admission fee at all. Good people right there. So yeah, it was everything we NEEDED it to be. Mostly, it was just happy 🙂

Be sure to stop back by tomorrow for the rest of our outdoor Spring-welcoming weekend!

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5 Responses to “Gettin’ Down on the Farm”

  1. Georgia April 6, 2016 at 6:07 AM #

    Oh what wonderful memories y’all are making for your family. Great pictures also.

    • Erin T. April 6, 2016 at 7:35 AM #

      We sure are, Georgie! Our life has changed in so many ways since moving here! Hoping that the memories- or at least the lessons- will last all three of us a lifetime. Hope all is well with you and Delmon!

  2. Robin April 4, 2016 at 1:31 AM #

    What a wonderful place! So glad that you could finally get outside after a long, cold winter. Neve always did love a tractor.

  3. Eleanor April 3, 2016 at 6:43 PM #

    Love seeing our Neve with the animals. So many great experiences! The rain has stopped and I have missed going to the Festival this year, but maybe next year?? It is beautiful today and I hope your day was just as lovely.

    • Erin T. April 5, 2016 at 9:47 AM #

      You had a good excuse for missing it this year! That, and the fact that I wasn’t there 😉 Really hope you’re continuing to feel better every day. Love you! ❤

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