Road Trip Check In: A Family Day on the Farm

Our Family Farm Tour

It’s good to have friends. It’s even better to reconnect and spend quality time with old friends you haven’t seen in years. This past week we got to do just that with one of my father’s oldest friends from his childhood. Normally this wouldn’t be anything all that interesting for my kids and me, but this old friend happens to own an amazing and honest-to-goodness working farm and he invited the whole lot of us to come out for the day and have a picnic lunch, the only requirement, we take a tour. Sign me up!

Our Visit to Laurel Vista Farms, Somerset,

Our day started at his home, minutes from the farm. The girls ran around, as little girls do, and old friends reminisced over old photographs and shared stories about growing up in a small town in Pennsylvania. As the natives got restless and the family dog, who had been chasing the ball that Princess had been throwing to her, finally collapsed, it was time for the tour!

So we all loaded up in the grocery getter, as Rod lovingly refers to my SUV, and off we went. Down winding roads, across dirt paths and into the corn fields, yes I did say “into” the corn fields. My city SUV accustomed to carpool and commuting had never had it so good, or gotten so dirty. We soaked up every second.

First stop, onion picking. Got to have fresh onions for the picnic.

Second stop. Heavy equipment from far-off lands. Who knew the best planting and harvesting equipment came from Italy? We all asked to be included on the next shopping trip overseas.

Third stop, corn field exploring on foot.

Then once we had soaked it all up, well at least as much as is possible in any one hour tour, we were off to the Picnic Pavilion. What a great view and fabulous way to see, feel, taste and smell a working vegetable farm.


The children got to see where their vegetables come from and what a complicated and involved process it can be. All the equipment, the vast land, the years of learning and growing expertise that goes into a farm cared for and owned by my Father’s schoolmate.

First Take Away: Buy Fresh. Buy Local.

Second Take Away: If you have farms near by, go see them and hear their story, and for goodness sake, buy their produce. Nothing against the big box stores, but nothing tastes as good as a potato or tomato you picked yourself. Hearing Rick’s story, and the story of how the farm began and continues to evolve was a fascinating and fun experience for all of us. The kids soaked up the big open spaces, the fresh country air, all in the process, exhausting themselves and the farm dog. Hopefully they will remember this day as they grow and someday maybe they will see the significance and blessing that farmers with a true commitment to quality foods are to our health, well being and world.

Thanks Rick, Rita, Robin and Ken!

Elizabeth Montgomery James

After living in California for several years, Beth and her husband, Rod, relocated to Florida, to live, work, and play. They have two adorable daughters, and Beth is very involved with her children’s schools as a parent volunteer, Daisy troupe, and other community organizations such as the Junior League. Beth enjoys crafts, yoga and fitness, as well as a nice glass of Chardonnay. Beth is a graphic designer who has worked on national and international ad campaigns for top consumer brands, and now brings her talents to a variety of projects in and around Central Florida. In addition for bringing classic elegance to everything she touches, Beth has a natural talent for making everything pretty, from kids’ birthday parties to her garden.

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