On the 3rd day of our Easter holiday, my family and I went to the Collingwood Children's Farm at the recommendation of Tim Richards, to experience its pastoral pleasures just minutes away from the Melbourne CBD. Apparently, it has a farmer's market every second Saturday which offered fresh farm grown produce (many organic) from participating farms in the greater Victoria region which surrounded the city of Melbourne. What this meant was that the farms could sell directly to end consumers (many of them were small family-owned establishments) without having to pay middle-men like retailers and distributors their share of the pie.
For a flat fee of just $2 for adults (free for kids), you can visit both the animal farm itself and the farmer's market too. That's pretty cheap considering that normal admission prices are about $16 for adults and $8 for kids. Certainly, a delightful way to spend a Saturday morning!
Our first stop is this old rustic Convent along St Helier's Street
just outside the farm with a nice charming al fresco cafe.
Over there, we met with Tim, his wife Narrelle, and their friend Julia. It was nice chatting with them and finding out what some of the great highlights of the farm were. They certainly know Melbourne and its surroundings in and out!
At the insistence of my son Ethan, we visited the farm animals first starting with these well-fed chickens with black feathers.
We next saw this female pig (called a sow) having a morning snack and looking surprisingly clean and un-muddied.
Next to her were these cute, squealing piglets which delighted Ethan tremendously.
A gentle reminder on what not to do on the farm premises. Instead, you should...
feed them to the goats here. What's great is that you don't have to pay for the animal feed here.
This handsome equine beast was very friendly, and allowed us to pet its head. It also took some organic carrots from another visitor - much to the chagrin of his wife!
Next stop is the farm produce section, where lots of sweet and delicious fruits in season were offered. You could either eat them whole...
...or drink them as juices like these here.
Lots of people brought along their own trolleys and bags for their Saturday marketing. Fresh vegetables like these were pretty popular organic grocery items.
To keep everybody - especially the kids - entertained, this performer in the middle of the market played many different traditional Australian instruments. You could also join in the fun.
To satisfy growling tummies, a wide array of cooked food items like pancakes, buns, and these tantalisingly fragrant frankfurters were available for a snack or breakfast.
What's great is that you can also sample practically everything on offer, like these dried fruits and nuts here...
...and wash it down with a glass of orange juice - FOC! Well, the stall owner offered it to Ethan anyway after watching his intense interest in the juice making contraption.
Apparently, these ducks were so frightened by the large number of people, especially kids who love to chase them around, that they huddled under a wooden table and bench!
Before we adjourned to the Great Ocean Road
, we stole one final glance at some fine feathered friends at the farm.
As a regular free and easy traveler, one of my usual headaches is in locating suitable hotel rooms for the night, especially those that are priced affordably and cost effectively. I learnt this the hard way recently, when trying to get a travel agent to book my hotel rooms for me.
Apparently, there is a new resource - Hotelscombined.com - which allows you to search for the cheapest hotel rates over multiple websites at once. Headquartered in Sydney, the company provides over 900,000 global hotel deals are available for you to access from a single website. For Melbourne alone (where I now stay), there are more than 340 hotel deals available. Do try it and let me know if it works for you.
Labels: collingwood farm, Holiday, Melbourne attractions, personal musings