5 Chicks and a Farmer host 'Winter on the Farm' event in Seaforth
BY SCOTT STEPHENSON
On the final weekend in January, many local families came out to the “Winter on the Farm” event at the 5 Chicks and a Farmer farm.
The farmer in question, John Moylan, is the fifth generation to be working the family farm on the outskirts of Seaforth, which makes his four daughters the sixth. Their job at the “Winter on the Farm” event was to direct vehicles that made their way down the slushy driveway towards places to park, and lead them down towards the first stop on the tour.
The family lives in the third house to be built on the property by their family, and the animals live in the same fieldstone barn they’ve been living in for generations. These days, the Moylan clan is dedicated to raising happy animals, organic crops and producing grass-fed, pastured beef, pork and poultry.
Any stragglers who strayed from the tour were hemmed in by Willow - a border collie/energy bomb mix that works the farm and keeps the family company. Willow’s efforts to corral Nico, “Queen of the Farm Cats”, was less successful.
The first stop on the tour was a visit with a paddock full of Black and Red Angus cows. Grass-fed calves hid at first behind their mothers before growing bold enough to shoulder their way to the front of the herd and take a look at the children from Blyth, Clinton and Wingham who had come by to take a look at them.
The chickens may have gone to their final roosting place for the season, but the pigs were more than happy to show off their big black ears to all the kids. John explained that those ears assist the Berkshire/Large Black hogs to keep their faces shaded from the sun in the summertime. Several of the younger children had never seen a pig up close before, and you couldn’t ask for more accommodating creatures than the happy hogs of 5 Chicks.
A short and only slightly sloppy hayride led to a crackling bonfire and a veritable farm feast. There were succulent pulled chicken sandwiches, savory chili con carné and hearty bread and brownies from The Sprouted Mill in downtown Seaforth. There were also marshmallows available for roasting, which were very popular with the children, despite the fact that they were not locally made. As the fire warmed visitors from the outside in, hot chocolate and cider were available to warm them from within.
On the trip back, the mud made some Stratford students shout that the farm vehicle would certainly get stuck, but this wasn’t the Moylan family’s first farm tour of the day. The winter tours have proven popular, and the family is already in the process of planning something for the spring.
To close the circle of the farm tour, the families stopped by the farm freezer to pick up meat bundles and bone broth that they’d ordered. The day was a unique opportunity for young people to see all the stages of life on the farm - something that has become increasingly rare these days. Too often, the food supply chain remains a mystery to people their entire lives. Perhaps a few of the children at the farm that day were too young to put together the connection between the animals in the barnyard and the delicious beef chili, but at least it’s a start.