Last week, instead of my usual Friday activities of thinking about doing homework, thinking about doing my laundry, and thinking about cleaning my apartment, I went to a farm. The Borzynski’s Farm in Wisconsin, actually, which is where a lot of Northwestern Dining’s cabbage comes from – so thank you, Borzynski’s, for the cabbage that enables me to consider, however briefly, eating vegetables at least once a week.
One of my best friends at Northwestern had confessed to me a few weeks prior that, as a child, her dream job had been as a farmer – so, of course, when the opportunity came up to go to a farm with Northwestern Dining, we jumped on it. And so, after an hour-long ride in the nicest bus I’ve ever been on (leather seats! Flat screen TV!), we arrived at picturesque Borzynski’s, populated with the cutest pumpkins I’ve ever seen and also a seven-foot-tall farmer oddly reminiscent of the Green Giant.
After taking some selfies with a seriously attention-seeking goats, we climbed aboard a truck for our first activity – a hay ride tour of the farm, through corn fields that look a little too much like the ones from The Lovely Bones for comfort and a pumpkin patch with vaguely threatening scarecrows. Would I suggest going here for Halloween? Absolutely.
Next stop: the corn maze. If I ever thought that my spatial skills were at least middle school-level, this corn maze definitely proved me wrong. I also can’t tell the difference between one row of corn and another, as I quickly discovered when we walked through the same loop four times before coming to the shocking realization that we should maybe start taking the occasional left fork.
Then, as a reward for escaping the corn maze – where we somehow managed to find all of the word clues but none of the picture clues – we got to make our own caramel apples!
More accurately, I had a little apple with my bowl of caramel, peanuts and sprinkles. From here we went to a farm-to-table BBQ dinner with some of the freshest vegetables I’ve ever had, and got to hear from the farmer about what it’s like to run a farm.
Prior to visiting Borzynski’s, I had always imagined farming as an idyllic, rustic experience where people wore lots of denim and made hay while the sun shone. Apparently, it’s more a case of making hay when there’s a market for hay, and hoping that the sun will conveniently shine during that time. After one last run into the farmer’s market, where I got myself a lifetime supply of the most delicious caramel, we boarded the bus back to Northwestern, having lost a week’s worth of grocery money but also having gained something a lot more important – a little more of an understanding of what goes into our food and why it’s so important to eat local.