Patterson Farm offers a laid-back way to enjoy Easter, spring

Published 12:10 am Sunday, April 16, 2017

By Mark Wineka

MOUNT ULLA — The phrase “chaos free” represented the operative words Saturday for a day of spring — and Easter — activities at Patterson Farm Market.

And maybe on this gorgeous April day, you had to start with the “Continuous Chaos Free Egg Hunt.”

“Very fun,” said Chasity Schooley, who accompanied several children to the farm Saturday. “I love the scavenger idea.”

On checking in for the egg hunt, kids received a list of the eggs they were supposed to find in the thick, grassy knoll behind them: three purple eggs, four yellow eggs, three pink eggs, one polka dot egg and one striped egg.

Once they completed their laid-back hunt and returned to the check-in spot with their eggs, the children received a gift bag full of stuff. So it wasn’t a matter of having to take candy out of plastic eggs they had collected.

“I like the fact there’s this at the end,” Chasity’s boyfriend, Scott, said, holding up the gift bag. “That’s fun.”

Scott brought his 6-year-old twins, Reese and Sutton, who had plenty of help, if needed, from Schooley’s older children, Brianna and Brice. Schooley liked the teamwork the chaos-free egg hunt allowed.

“It’s good for all age groups — that’s the thing,” she said.

Maybe it made even more sense Saturday to start with the Easter Bunny Brunch — that is, if you were hungry. The farm had plenty of picnic tables, and the Ruritan Club served up a hearty meal of eggs, bacon, pancakes, sausage, hash browns and strawberries, of course.

Patterson Farm is one of the larger strawberry producers in the state.

Nearby, a king-sized Easter Bunny greeted the kids, many of whom wanted to sit on his lap as though he were Santa Claus. A big rabbit actually can be a scary thing sometimes.

“The kids weren’t cooperating,” said Heather, the mother of 4-year-old Nate and 2-year-old Delilah. “But we tried.”

Nowhere was the feeling of spring and the Easter spirit of rebirth more evident than in the Patterson Farm Barnyard.

Little Kate Reed, 15 months old, of Terrell, was immediately attracted to a baby goat, born around 1:30 p.m. the previous day.

“Three m0mma sheep will pop next week.” said Christi Reber, who takes care of all the Barnyard animals. “People come here to see the babies. They don’t come to see the mommas.”

The Barnyard is full of sheep, goats, chickens, pigs and bunnies.

“It’s a fun place,” Reber said. “I have the best job in the world. The Barnyard is a magical place.”

The Barnyard is popular with field trips, folks who come to the farm regularly to pick their own strawberries and with the Easter crowd.

Gretchen is the guardian dog of the livestock at night.

Colton and Max Graham somehow persuaded their mom, Valerie, to buy them a $20 calico bunny at the Barnyard. Valerie said taking care of the rabbit will teach the boys some responsibility.

“It will be theirs,” she promised.

Reber said not to worry, rabbits can be trained to use kitty litter.

Colton and Max already were trying to come up with a name for their new pet before they left the Barnyard.

Max kept suggesting “Easter Bunny,” and his mom said perhaps going with the shortened version — “E.B.” — would be even better and work whether the bunny was a boy or girl.

Patterson Farm had plenty of other things to do Saturday. The line was long for one of its favorite rides — the motorized cow train, which took riders on a good tour of the countryside.

The horse rides stayed busy.

Jennifer Jacoby brings her daughters, Jordin and Clara, to Patterson Farm at least twice a year, definitely in the spring and fall. The family lives in Mooresville.

Jordin was having a good time with gyrating and keeping a hoop spinning on her waist.

“She’s a dancer,” her mother explained. “She just knows how to move her hips.”

The hoops Jordin was playing with also doubled as the rings kids tried to throw from a distance and over the neck of giant wooden horses.

Elijah Adams and Jaden Adams were experts at this ring toss. Before landing there, the boys already had experienced the Barnyard, crafts, playground and egg hunt.

“We couldn’t get them out of the animals,” said Flo Adams, who is Elijah’s mother and Jaden’s aunt. “That was a process.”

The boys also were close to the milking barn and one of the day’s storytelling spots.

Traveling from Concord, Mandy Bogdanoff brings her children, Hailey and Maddie, to Patterson Farm about four times a year.

Riding the horses was one of the main drawing cards for her girls Saturday.

“We like to come up here and play on the farm,” Mandy said.

And the farm doesn’t mind.

Contact Mark Wineka at 704-797-4263.