Our time at Forest Gully Farms felt nothing short of a gift. We live in an area ever-growing and over-growing, and the options for land and space seem to get further away every day. So yes, it felt like a gift to be handed 15 acres for a day and night and the welcome invitation to explore and enjoy. Not to mention it is 15 acres of land where creativity and beauty and bounty exude at every turn, and we didn’t even get to explore the whole thing!
Our stay could not have come at a more perfect time as my oldest daughter and I had begun reading The Hobbit together the month before. I read it in the 4th grade and have been a devoted fan since. My husband actually visited Hobbiton in New Zealand just last month and as he was showing me photos I noticed a particularly beautiful spot on the hillside and said to him, “I would have just sat there all day long” to which he said, “They don’t let you. They have too many tours coming in.” I thought about how disappointing it would have been to be in such a magical place and not get to drink in my surroundings but to be herded through without time to savor. And right there is the reason Forest Gully is so incredibly special for any Hobbit/LOTR fan.You get to savor, to imagine, to take time and make it the experience you want without rush without interruption, without distraction.
That being said you certainly don’t need to be a Tolkien family to enjoy the farm. We went with our 3 girls, only one of which had Hobbit knowledge so far, and they all had the most amazing time. We even had off-and-on rain showers all afternoon and evening the first day and it was still totally enjoyable. We brought games, made a nice dinner, played in the rain, and even got a decent fire going (thanks to the large umbrella provided). Between imagining at the huts, playing in the playhouse, visiting the chickens and collecting eggs (a definite favorite), to spotting a Tiger Swallowtail, a Zebra Swallowtail, a Rosy Maple Moth, a salamander, and a turtle, they were in Heaven. We all were. 4 days post-visit and today my middlest brought me a picture she drew of the hobbit holes. We are officially Forest Gully fans.
To quote Henry David Thoreau, “A taste for the beautiful is most cultivated out of doors.Let us spend one day as deliberately as Nature.” So incredibly thankful for our unforgettable “one day”.