A Trip to Pineland Farms

(Originally published August of 2016 on my old blog, Outdated By Design.)Wayne and I took a drive to Pineland Farms in New Gloucester which is only a half hour ride for us. The campus, once “Maine’s Home for the Feeble Minded” (that may be a separate post sometime down the road), was transformed into a “5,000-acre working farm, diverse business campus and educational and recreational venue.” Pineland Farms is also the supplier of my favorite pepper jack cheese and beef that I’ve been eating for years. Even so, I had never visited the farm until now. Why not before? It was one of many things I would do “someday.” I’m so over putting things off, especially when I came to terms with how much time I had been wasting with my toxic relationship with Facebook.

We wanted to take part in the “Family Farmyard Hands-On Activities.” In other words, play with pigs, chickens, alpacas and goats while learning about farm life! When we arrived at the welcome center to buy tickets the employee asked if we had kids with us? When I replied no, we didn’t, he assured us that it was OK, they have people “like us” from time to time and gave a patronizing smile.

That never even crossed our minds. What’s up with that? Was that just a kid’s domain–learning about farm life and animals? I know he meant well, but I felt a little awkward after that.

We drove to the educational center, and when we walked in a few minutes late things became even more uncomfortable. There were little kids sitting around an employee reading from a storybook. That’s cute and all, but we felt like we some overgrown schoolkids left back a few decades, until Christine saved the day! A super enthusiastic employee, she asked us if we were there without kids, and when we said yes, she said she’s give us a special adult tour!

Leaving story-time behind, our first stop was at the chicken barn. Did you know that roosters hum, purr and know verses other than the old standby, cock-a-doodle-do? Me either, but this group of men could possibly be called the Rooster Tabernacle Choir! They were curious about us and some came over to give us the side-eye. Christine treated us like VIPs, making sure to point out that we were given special privileges as adults-only visitors. Not everyone gets to actually pet the big pigs in the pen.



They like to cover themselves with super high SPF sunblock aka mud. I never realized it was functional; I had always thought it was just for fun.


They had been sleeping, so they were pretty mellow when we gave them head pats. One rolled over for belly rubs from Christine.


Story-time was over at this point and a little girl fed the alpacas with the help of her mom. I couldn’t tell if she was laughing or about to cry. Truth is I felt the same. Wayne was a natural. After a few minutes I got the courage to let them eat out of my own hands! Ok, so I had food in my hands and they wanted eats and didn’t wait for permission.



It tickled!


Next came the baby dwarf goats, and this one wagged his tail and jumped on me like he was a puppy.



They also like to chew on things. Wayne’s shoelaces were very attractive to the goat which he began to try and undo after I snapped this pic. My shoes were safe.



Agnes the cow couldn’t take her eyes off of Wayne while Christine gave her a gentle primer about being well-mannered with the guests.



The little bull gave Wayne lots and lots of cow licks! Then he came over to me and starting sniffing my leather bag. Awkward.
After the social we received a 10% off coupon for lunch at the farm. On our way over we stopped at the cheese making plant.


I loooove their cheese! That would make some good dipping sauce!


For lunch I had chicken chili and Wayne got seafood chowder. Both were delicious, made with ingredients from the farm. We also visited their garden which I’ll be sharing in my next post.

13 thoughts on “A Trip to Pineland Farms

  1. Another amazing field trip! Thank you for taking us along with you 😉 Isn't it strange that more adults (without kids like us, too) don't take part in these types of activities? I'm so glad you pushed through the awkwardness at first and what a joy to find an enthusiastic employee who “gets it”
    Beautiful photos!!


  2. Thanks!

    I wonder if more childless couples/individuals don't go to these “family” activities because they wouldn't be able to move past the awkwardness, or worse, feel unwelcome? On the other hand, there are “55 plus” events in my town and some of them sound fun! I thought about getting a fake ID, ha.

    Have the two of you ever gone to something similar and gotten the side-eye?


  3. How fun! Reminds me of my cousin's ranch in western Colorado. I regress in age by 55 years when I'm there and treat it like my own private petting farm! Loved your rooster “side eye” description, ha, ha! They can be scary! Lunch looked great. ..hope you washed your hands first, lol!


  4. Ha! Oh yes, Lois! 🙂 Lots of hand washing followed by hand sanitizer. Our shoe bottoms required more detailed attention when we got home. Made me wonder about the carpeting in the dining room, ha!


  5. That's great!! My folks took me to a farm like this when I was a kid. I still remember the animals. I also got to work for a week on a dairy farm in rural Massachusetts with my best friend in college as his cousins ran the farm. That was an experience! Up very early and very tired by the end of the day. The ladies needed to be milked every 12 hours!

    I can't wait to hear your story on the home for the feeble minded, lol


  6. Dr J, it's a rigorous lifestyle for sure. 🙂

    There is a sad and dark history at the farm's location. I had no idea about some of the things that took place that were legally sanctioned at the time. Thank goodness times have changed.


  7. This was a great post! Yay for Christine!! All the employees of places like this should be prepared for more adults without children. I'm so glad y'all ended up having a good time. My stepdaughter was in FFA in high school. She just graduated but she raised some cows and a steer, Hank, who we just had for dinner tonight from our stash of Hank in the freezer. Lol. It was fun being there when she and others showed their animals and a learning experience, too. My husband was also in FFA when he was in school.


  8. Oh, Aileen, I saw some pics of Hank on your IG, I think? Good for her that she has a working knowledge! THat must have been hard for her, though? Christine told us that she is a vegetarian because all the animals have become pets to her. I think anyone who eats meat should spend time with the animals, especially in a farm setting (and if they eat factory farmed meat, then they should see that reality) so they really understand the whole process.


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