Spring is in the air in Williamson County, Tennessee, and sprouts are bursting green everywhere we look. Now more than ever, the growing season’s warm sunshine and fresh breezes are beckoning us to get outside, and escape to simplicity.
Just a few miles from Main Street, a vast agricultural playground awaits—a number of local farms, some of which date back a century or more, gladly welcome visitors looking to pick, pet, gather or simply experience life outside the city.
Here’s our go-to list of Farm Experiences to get your wheels turning!
Lucky Ladd Farms
If you’re looking for a day full of fun on a real working farm, it’s worth the trip out to Eagleville to Lucky Ladd Farms. This “ag-venture” park hosts a wide range of family attractions and activities, from a barnyard full of animals that love to be petted to trails and hands-on exhibits that explore everything from chickens to bees, rare plants and wildlife, fossils, and more.
Kids and adults alike will love the splash zone, fun park, mining sluice, tractor train, jump pad, and pony rides, among other attractions. Throughout the season, pick-your-own opportunities abound, including strawberries, sunflowers, zinnias, and pumpkins. Plenty of great food is available for purchase, and the farm market offers a bevy of goodies to take home.
Ever kissed an alpaca? These sweet and snuggly relatives of the camel are a ton of fun, and the folks at Mistletoe Farm would love for you to come to learn more about their herd and the benefits their huggable animals provide.
The soft fibers become fleece that is hand-knitted into garments and made into household and personal items (think dryer balls and shoe inserts) that are offered for sale in the shop on the farm. They even offer private and small-group weaving, felting, and spinning classes!
Morning Glory Orchard
Visit a real working orchard and learn all about the art of growing apples, then taste the fruits of their labor – fresh-pressed cider, applesauce, preserves, dried fruit, and other apple delights are available for purchase.
Plus, during the season, Morning Glory offers baked goods, farm eggs, honey from the apiary, and more.
Stoney Creek Farm
If you’re interested in growing your own food and don’t know where to start, or you’re a novice gardener looking to advance your knowledge of sustainability practices and natural resource conservation, then Stoney Creek Farm is the place to become what they call “Dirt Rich.”
Their garden is a living classroom, and they love to host families. During the growing season, you-pick and curbside vegetables, fruits and herbs are available, and classes are offered on subjects ranging from Canning 101 to gut health. It all culminates with their annual one-day Sustainable Agriculture Conference in October.
Golden Bell Farm
The good people at Golden Bell focus on one thing, and they do it well: growing sweet, succulent blueberries. While the season is short, you-pick and pre-picked berries are available during June and July, as soon as they begin ripening. Spend a couple hours filling buckets among the berry bushes, and then take them home for pancakes, pies and smoothies!
Hatcher Family Dairy
Some think milk and ice cream come from the grocery store, but take a drive out to Hatcher Family Dairy, and you’ll see how fresh creamery milk and dairy products are really made. For nearly 200 years, twice a day, the Hatchers have been milking Brown Swiss, Jersey, and Holstein cows.
These days, their popular line of just-made dairy products is sold locally and on the farm, alongside fresh biscuits and cheeseburgers, and other treats at their store on-site. Be sure to try the Jumpin’ Jimmy, chocolate milk with a kick. During certain times of the year when production is at its highest, the Hatchers also offer butter, ice cream, and other limited-availability treats.
Close your eyes and breathe in the soothing scent of lavender, then open your eyes and you can find yourself in a field full of it! At Menkveld Farm, more than 300 lavender shrubs are loaded with heavenly purple spires from around May to September, and an impressive line of lavender products, fresh flower bouquets, and other dreamy hand-made items are sold through their shop. Private you-pick and photo sessions among the lavender and sunflower fields are also available.
You might not see tractors and wagons on the Square these days in downtown Franklin, but our agricultural roots run deep here. Take the time to explore the rural areas of Williamson County, and you’ll find plenty of fun, food, and fellowship, along with the kinds of unique farm experiences you’ll family will remember forever.