Chapter 146- Pope Farm Conservancy

In my effort to cram everything in to the last few weeks of summer, we headed to Madison to see Pope Farm Conservancy’s sunflower farm!  I’d been seeing some beautiful photos on Instagram since last summer, so this adventure has been in the back of my mind for quite some time.  As a bonus, I happen to meet up with a bunch of my amazing friends and their kids that day!

As chance would have it, one of my friends spotted me on highway 94 near Johnson Creek, and another said she was on her way there when I called to check in.  All 4 moms plus our 12 combined children met in the parking lot and hugged, being amazed that we ended up there together!

At the parking lot, there was one port-a-potty which had a line.  So after playing on some big rocks while waiting, we walked up a big hill to the large sunflower crop.

There were lots of people taking photos and standing on picnic benches, and we waited our turn to snap a few pix.  It was quite hot and sunny that day, so the kids were antsy to get moving and/or retreat to the shade.

We made our way clockwise around the flowers, and came upon a small woods with more rocks.  And honestly, this is where we spent most of our time.  The shade was oh-so important and the kids really just wanted to play with each other, anyway.   Adults talked as kids played with sticks and rocks, smashing acorns open and tasting the dry and bitter nuts inside.

When it was time for naps/lunch/saving kids from meltdown, we headed back the same way we came.  That’s it, people!

This trip was a bit of a letdown…I really wanted to grab some cute photos for holiday cards but people weren’t really able to put on cute holiday card faces (understandable).  The kids were underwhelmed with the flowers, because there wasn’t a path to walk through them or anything.  Having hot, thirsty, and bored kids didn’t make for a successful adventure.

However, I learned that weather makes a huge difference, so maybe next year during the peak blooming week we could try again.  AND I got to see friends (which didn’t really happen at all this summer) so it wasn’t a big loss.  Also, the conservancy does some amazing work with land conservation and education.  There are plenty of opportunities to learn about stewardship and even volunteer, so we’ll make sure to keep this place in mind for future adventures!

And here’s my advice:

  • -Check the farm’s Facebook page for updates on weather and peak blooming, both are super important.
  • -Bring water and snacks!  They had bottles of water for sale but not much else.
  • -Head to the farm early or late in the day.  Midday sun isn’t ideal for getting people to smile and look at a camera with eyes open.
  • -Pair this adventure with others in Madison.  It doesn’t fill up a whole day, and there are so many other fun places to explore in Madison.
  • -Call you friends to see if they all happen to be on their way to the farm at the same time on the same day.

Here’s a quick list of some of my fave Madison spots:

Thanks for making the trip fun, Kady, Kate and Margo!

Good luck with school staring, everyone…

A. Storm

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