Kids & Teens
Kids & Teens (and those young at heart)
So your parents want to spend a few nights at our woodland farm in the Turtle Mountains – and they want you to go along. I, Teyana, grew up here with my brothers and sister, and I think you’d enjoy it here. There are a lot of adventures you can get into here that you might not have the opportunity to experience if you’re from a town or city – or even if you’re from a modern farm. We traveled a lot with our parents when we were kids and so we know how wonderful it is to find a place to stay where you can explore your surroundings (safely) and find a variety of interesting things to do.
The very first thing our parents did here, even before moving our house (which used to be a church) onto this property, was to build a tire swing and sand box. They know that when you’re happy, they’re happy. It likely goes the other way too – when your parents are happy, you’re happy. But this page is about you and the things I think you’ll enjoy about this place. Some are more for younger kids and some for older, but I’ve mixed them all up because I don’t know how old you are.
Dog – We have one female black lab who likes to go on walks or will lie on your porch as you lavish her with love and attention. She is not allowed in the Straw Bale Guesthouse but the Pond House is fine.
Cats – Two older female cats and one younger male wander around Room to Grow. The mostly grey with white spots is the oldest and likes to stay close to our family house. The calico is the hunter who likes your attention but won’t stay long. The grey and white striped male is a bit skitterish as he was a stray my dad tamed some time ago.
Horses – You’re allowed in the horse corral if an adult is with you, but you can go any time to hang out across the fence. Our three horses are very gentle and respectful and will love you, especially when you give them handfuls of grass or hay to munch on. If my Dad has time, he can put you on top of one and lead you around, but apparently our insurance doesn’t allow any more than that.
Birds – we have lots of song birds on the yard. It’s neat to watch them dive bomb the cats to keep them away from their nests. The woods and wetlands have about 50 kinds of birds in summer, all chirping and squawking, whistling and thumping their songs. We often hear owls hooting to each other at night. In winter the bird feeders are fluttering with chickadees, nuthatches, finches and woodpeckers. Birds contribute an important part to the soundtrack of the outdoors.
Wildlife – If you’re lucky (and sometimes patient and quiet!) you might run across one of our friendly forest creatures. Our property is home to beavers, deer (who come out around sunrise and sunset) and porcupines (who can be seen usually up a tree). We also have raccoons, turtles, moose, elk and an abundance of squirrels.
Coyotes are another contributor to the symphony of the forest. Every night around sunset the coyotes begin calling to each other. They’re often calling from two or even three directions at once – which is very cool. It sounds like there are lots of them, but they only come together a few at a time as they almost always hunt alone at night. They eat mice mostly. They’re very afraid of humans because around here farmers will shoot at them if they get too close. Our dog Jupiter likes to bark back at them to keep them away from the yard.
The Pond – Arguably the best part of summer – swimming in the pond! Especially when we use the “Tarzan” swing to send us out over the pond where we let go of the rope to plummet into the refreshing water. Then, when you’re in the pond, you can swim over to the floating dock and either bask in the sun or invent a game to play. It’s great fun, but it’s also important to have supervision from someone who’s a good swimmer.
Tree Fort and Zipline – Just behind the Guesthouse there’s a three level tree fort. I like to sit right up on top to talk to the tree and feel it swaying gently in the wind. From the second level you can take a short (but fun!) zip line trip down to the ground.
Forts of your making – We’re lucky to live in a place where there aren’t any predators (animals who would hurt us) in our woods. So we would, and still do, wander wherever we want (knowing there’s a fence all around the property) building forts from fallen branches and pretending we were great explorers.
Fire Pit – Right beside the tree fort is a fire pit, fire wood, hot dog skewers and a large grill. It’s a great place to slowly make supper and tell some tall tales into the night.
Trampoline – After our parents’ first year as greenhouse growers was finished, they bought us a trampoline as a thank-you gift for all the work we helped with. And they say it’s been the most used thing on our yard. If your parents are a bit nervous about it, they’ll need to supervise. But there’s loads of safe fun you can have on it by yourself or with a small group. We’ve had many good times on the trampoline – my brother and I have even had sleep-overs on it under the stars.
Tire Swing – We can get 4 or 5 kids on this swing and have someone give us a mighty push. When we weren’t too heavy our Dad would give us under-ducks just to get our stomachs jumping.
Sand Box – We have a few dump trucks and small shovels to make whatever landscape you want. There’s even a huge (well, I used to think it was huge) tunnel to crawl through – and a red wagon to pull stuff (even you) around in.
Books and Games – When the weather isn’t great to be outside (or if you just want to do something quiet) there are tons of books, games and puzzles in the Guesthouse. Find a cozy couch – or a windowsill that will fit you – and enjoy some quiet time.
Stars, Moon, Northern Lights – The night skies are brilliant here – far away from the city lights. We’ve also seen some amazing displays of Northern Lights from our yard.
Garden – We keep a big garden and orchard. The best part is all the raw food we can nibble on right in the garden – raspberries, carrots, peas, strawberries and apples. You can help yourself to all you want as well because we always grow enough for guests to use for nibbling, salads, lunches and suppers. We’re into growing all kinds of herbs both for eating and for making medicine.
Greenhouse – The greenhouse usually has something happening in it – potting bedding plants for spring; growing tomatoes and peppers for the farmers’ market in summer; curing onions, garlic, beans and squash in fall; and building projects in winter – all because of the warm, dry space. So be sure to snoop around in there – but don’t stay too long unless you want to help Dad with something!
Open Space for Soccer or Baseball or Whatever – We call the open space between the Guesthouse and the Greenhouse the Soccer Field – because, well, I guess it’s obvious. There’s space for Bocce Ball, Frisbee, Football or just lying around soaking in the sun and sounds. If there is one thing we have here in abundance it is space – space to run, to let your imagination fly; to sing your heart out; space to be.
No TV, Phone or Internet! With all the stuff you’ll find to do around here, I’m thinking you’ll be OK without your electronic connectors – at least for a few days. I hope I’m right.
Off the farm
There are great places to visit off of the farm too. If you’re looking for day trips you can take a look at the Local Attractions page. I’d recommend you visit the:
Winter Park at Lake Adam, Museums in Boissevain, Sawmill Tea House (Pool Table, great drinks/snacks and Used Books), nearby Geocache sites, Lake William beach and Turtle’s Back Hike, Turtle Mountain Provincial Park Canoe trip, International Peace Garden (including the Indoor Cactus Display), Souris River Canoe trip, and Souris Rock Quarry and Swinging Bridge.