Patterson Farm adds gemstone mine to list of attractions

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 10, 2016

By Amanda Raymond

amanda.raymond@salisburypost.com

Visitors will not only be able to search for strawberries when they visit Patterson Farm this season; soon they will be able to search for gemstones as well.

Patterson Farm has added a gemstone mine attraction called The Treasure Mine Adventure at Patterson Farm to its line up of activities.

Michelle Patterson said they hope to have the mine ready by next weekend when the farm will also be ready for its strawberry picking season.

The farm often hosts educational tours during which Michelle Patterson said they like to teach the students about farming.

“It’s just a passion. We like teaching children about farm life and crops that we grow, the history of farming,” Patterson said.

Patterson said that after some research, she discovered that other farms had gemstone mine attractions. She said they have developed a curriculum to work with teachers to give students lessons about things like soil, rocks and minerals.

“It just gives us another educational aspect to bring to the farm,” she said.

Through interactions with a company that helps design the farm’s mazes, Patterson met Tim Wright of Annabelle’s Fun Farm in Oklahoma. He designs customized mines and designed one for the farm.

Patterson said Wright visited the farm and used a farm theme to design the mine. Water flows throughout the structure, starting at the top and flowing down to wooden sluice arms where visitors will be able to use wooden sluice boxes to shake treasures from the dirt, sand and gravel. The top of the mine has a chicken feeder from another farm, along with old picks, shovels, barrels and buckets to add to the rustic feel. There is even a hog feeder in the front of the structure that was found in a barn at the farm.

Patterson said the structure was one of the biggest mines Wright said he had built so far. It will be able to have about 60 people mining treasures at once.

“We wanted to accommodate at least two classes at a time, if necessary,” she said.

Six different mixes will be available for visitor to mine, such as gemstone, fossil and seashell mixes.

“Not so much recently, but I know that people would find arrowheads on the farm,” Patterson said. “It’s neat that they can look for those things in the mixes as well.”

Patterson said they are ordering the mixes from Cold River Mining Company out of Massachusetts. The prices will range from $6 to $20.

Patterson Farm Market & Tours, at 10390 Caldwell Rd. in Mount Ulla, also offers a market and ice cream, tours, a petting zoo and more.

Students, birthday party groups and other visitors of the farm will be able to enjoy the mine during strawberry and pumpkin seasons.

Patterson said she is already thinking of future events based around the mine.

“We’re real excited,” she said.

For more information, visit pattersonfarm.com or the farm’s page on Facebook (facebook.com/PattersonFarmInc).

Contact reporter Amanda Raymond at 704-797-4222.

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