Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Local Farm

Wednesday August 8th, 2012

Started out the day with making some chocolate pancakes. I've had trouble in the past making American pancakes here since the flour is a little different. Austrians also have their own version of pancakes which for Americans we would probably call a crepe. 

I think these turned out okay?

The day started out pretty quiet and my austrian siblings were gone part of the morning so I had a little time to myself. They came back in the late morning and did a myriad of activities. In the afternoon while attempting to get them off the computer, I suggested watching a movie in English. They looked a little panicked and suggested we go to the farm up the street instead.

Every time I drive to Villach I pass this farm (Landhaus Weber vlg. Hansbauer) but I have never actually stopped there before. The kids handed me some mud boots to wear and we walked up the street to the farm (the kids know the farmer pretty well).

In the pasture next to the road.

This time they are looking at me.
The really only thing I know about the farm is that is also doubles as a gasthaus (guest house; i.e. they rent out rooms) and I often see the farm guests on the lake where the farm also has a lake house/hut.

Approaching the main part of the farm. A.K.A. the barn
Approaching the farm I learned that the property contains several different buildings. The pasture (containing many apple trees) connects to the barn where the cows are kept at night and during bad weather. The barn has an upper level where hay is kept (also on the other side of the street they keep rolls of hay) and then even a level above that with some equipment. The highest level also serves as a convenient jumping platform for the kids to jump down in the hay between the exposed beams. Another building on the farm contains the pig sty. It looks quite nice on the outside however I was barely able to enter the building because of the smell. Attached to the pig sty building is suppose to be an area for bunnies however we didn't see any bunnies while we were there. Next is the actual house where the family and guests live. Attach to the main house is a place where they can butcher animals for fresh meat. Behind the house is the chicken coop and more pasture.

Other then seeing the cows, the kids love to visit the farm so they can chase and catch the barn cats. I was expecting the barn cats to be more feral. Most of the young cats/kittens would run away from the kids, once caught they were pretty calm. Although I noticed the kids didn't hold onto them for too long and would often let them go after a couple of minutes. A few of the older cats didn't really care about the kids and just laid in the sun. Of course the kids weren't as interested in the older cats.

The cat enjoying the weather.

One cat caught. Not trying to hard to escape though.
I climbed up into the mid level of the barn with the kids although I wasn't quite as nimble as them around the hay. I also saw a young cat catch a bird up in the highest level of the barn.

View from mid level inside the barn.

Isn't that a nice building in front of us? DON'T BE FOOLED! ITS THE PIG STY! The house is the building in the back.

The stairs to get to the mid level of the barn.

The cat again.

Austrian sister and cat on farmer equipment.


One of three roosters in the chicken coop.

View of the barn from the house.

Younger cat. I think this one caught the bird.

Hiding from the kids.

Also keeping an eye on the kids. Under the cars was a popular hiding spot for the cats.

Front of barn. The cat moved but almost every time I saw him he seemed to be communicating that it was too hot for him.

The farmer brought in the cows and asked us to stay still since he first brought in the calfs. The calfs are still getting use to being brought in to the barn with all the other cows so they can still get spooked easily.

Inside the barn.

Front of the barn again. But notice that something has moved...

And this time you can see the cows inside.

Oh snap, he moved again. But this time he has company.

Another view of the barn stairs.

We headed back to the house after the kids were starting to get hungry. We made pizza which mostly consisted of taking frozen cheese pizzas and adding extra toppings according to our preferences.

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