Amstutz Family Farm, home to The Country Experience, is sized and planned with people in mind, both those who live here and those who visit. We have selected the fruit, vegetables and crops that we plant to look great and to feed us awesome food throughout the growing season. We have chosen livestock that’s right-sized, diverse, and each plays a role: goats are naturally kid-sized and a barrel of fun. Rabbits are adorable, soft to hold, and cuddle into the crook of an arm. Sheep eat what goats don’t like, respond to even the smallest person, and give us wonderful wool. Cows do a great job of keeping fields mown down, efficiently turning green pastures into healthy beef, and ours have proven to be great mothers to their calves. Pigs are perhaps the smartest animal on the farm and hilarious to watch. We rotate animals through our fields, where each selects something a little different from the pasture “salad bar,” leaving the land and us healthier for it’s having been there.
Isn’t that what most farms look like? Some still do, yes, but fewer and fewer. Technology has made it possible to get more product from each acre. Global demand and transportation lets farmers reach and serve markets around the world. Equipment advance enables the farming of thousands of acres at a time, where only dozens or hundreds was possible before. The smaller farm, with a wide variety of crops and a menagerie of livestock, is no longer the norm.
At the same time we appreciate the progress all around, we also see the value in the diversity and mix, particularly for our farm goals – each animal has a personality, each vegetable has a family member who craves it, and each flower will end up behind an ear or in a vase. We choose what’s on the farm because it makes us smile, or makes campers laugh, or simply because it fits together with what’s here.