Laura Johnson (with New Bern Now) and I joined Jasmine Sills, The Greenville Police Athletic League (PAL) Coordinator, Volunteers, and the PAL’s large group of children on this interesting tour.
Julia Bircher (co-owner with her sister, Melissa Barnette) met us with a warm welcome. Entering the farm, I noticed the well manicured grounds and realized how difficult it must be to tend to the animals, maintain the grounds, arrange tours, activities, and tend to business matters – especially in this HOT July weather!
Farming equipment has improved over the past 100 years, but it’s still a very tough living! Farmers wake up at the crack of dawn to feed their animals and take care of daily activities until the sun goes down.
Before I visited the farm, I assumed it was a petting zoo. This is NOT true! Their goal “is to provide the younger generation with hands-on activities which encourage an appreciation of North Carolina culture and heritage” – A Day At The Farm.
Seven generations of the McCoy family have farmed this land since 1846 – 164 years! From 1947-1993 they were a Holstein dairy farm and also provided dairy products to the Maola Milk Company. They were the last dairy farm to close in the Eastern Carolina Region.
The history lesson is over; let’s talk about the fun and educational tour! For a moment, I felt like a kid again as I watched “Moses the Goat” tug on a pulley rope to raise a can full of treats to his level. What a smart animal!
Tour guide, Lydia Monette, led our group to the barnyard full of animals: potbellied pigs, goats, miniature horses, peacocks, guines, chickens, Tom the turkey, a 500+ pound domestic pig, and more. The kids were having a great time petting, feeding, and watching the animals! Especially the FREE kittens available to someone with a good home!
Then we entered the historical buildings open during the tour. The Ice Cream Parlor, Old Kitchen, Wash House, and Cow Barn display equipment and supplies they used in the olden days.
Laura and I skipped the hayride to admire the garden full of fresh herbs, vegetables, and flowers and converse with Julia under the shade of the enormous 100+ year old Oak Tree. Julia’s husband, Jack, took the PAL group on a hayride past a beaver dam, fox’s den, and a scenic tour along Grape Creek. Julia was waiting for the group to return to make butter and give them some ice cream to enjoy!
There’s much more to A Day At The Farm than I can relay through this article. They offer hayrides and tours. There’s a Pumpkin Fun Day on October 16th. Pick the family pumpkin during the month of October. This past Easter brought over 600 children during their three Easter Egg Hunts. They are open by appointment only, so please call them at 252-514-3033 to make sure they can accommodate your needs.
Rent the Pack House for birthday parties, family outings, community groups, scout troops, youth groups, retreats, corporate parties, and more! You can even get married at the farm! They have a loft for sleepovers of 25-30 children. They offer catering, a gas grill, bike rentals, picnic tables, and a bonfire pit is available. They even have a Gift Shop. They are closed from mid November thru the beginning of March.
Please visit their Website for more information. To view more photos, visit NBN’s Photo Gallery.
If you haven’t visited A Day At The Farm, you don’t know what you’re missing! They are located at 183 Woodrow McCoy Road, Cove City, NC. It’s only a 13 minute drive from Hwy 70’s Clarks Road exit!
Special thanks to Julia, Jack, and Lydia for the entertaining and informational tour of A Day At The Farm!