Five acres of fun. That's exactly what Ford Farms Pony Rides and Petting Zoo in Lindsay offers to the community. With more than 70 animals to feed and pet, Ford Farms is the perfect place to take the entire family.
On Thursday morning, Ford Farms co-owner Holly Ford, who runs the farm with her husband Sean Ford, was out preparing for the day. With a big smile she greeted visitors, handing them baskets full of fresh lettuce, and explained there were goats, chickens, turkeys, rabbits, alpacas, horses, sheep, pigs and more animals that were eager to be fed. With her knowledge of the animals on the farm, Holly was a wealth of information when it came to each animals back story.
“We really like to educate the kids,” said Holly.
Baby Boy, a circus Zebra Holly and her husband has rescued, was standing attentively in his pin. Because Ford Farms is still working with Baby Boy on his manners, visitors could place lettuce in his pin but not feed it to him directly. The same protocol was used for Clarabelle, a long horn Watusi cow. Because her horns are so massive, Holly makes sure her visitors are kept safe and only allows lettuce to be placed in Clarabelle's pin, rather then hand feeding her.
Every other animal on the farm are able to be hand fed though, and a huge draw in for the farm right now is baby Alpaca, Remi.
Remi was born just three days ago, and while he still latches on to his mom, he will be able to eat the lettuce soon. Jeanie, Remi's mom, is keen to taking lettuce straight from the hand, and will even make little noises when talked to.
Upon arriving to the farm, a rustic western feel sets in. Rightfully so, as the farm location was once used as a movie set for western films. Many of the original set pieces are still in standing and are used as props on the farm. There's a jail and a saloon that are open to the public, as well as a large barn that has been renovated in order for Ford Farms to host events like birthday parties and weddings. Holly did mention while Ford Farms does offer the location for weddings, it's mostly used for birthday parties.
In addition to offering the petting zoo, Holly and Sean also offer gem mining. Using his ingenuity, Sean created a system visitors can use to mine for gems. Using a pan, visitors can pull sand and dirt up from a flow of water, then dig through to see what they have uncovered. Visitors are allowed to leave with five pieces they have found from the gem mines as a souvenir to take home. The farm also offers mobile pony rides and unicorn rentals.
Ford Farms has run into a setback recently however. They must drill a new water well on their property in order to properly care for all of their animals, plus their family. On June 23, the Ford Farms water well went out for the third time in four years. The well went out due to casing that has corroded holes throughout it, which is allowing sand to be sucked up into the water causing the pump to seize. An abandoned air hose was also found at 250 feet in the well that's blocking the water pipe. For now, Ford Farms is sub-pumping water from barrels in the back of their truck for the animals as needed. Sean has set up an automatic water system for the animals that's on a timer with a sub-pump in a water holding tank.
Ford Farms has set up a GoFundMe page, in hopes the public will donate enough money for a new well to be drilled. Their GoFundMe page can be found here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/a-new-well-pump?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=p_lico%2Bupdate&fbclid=IwAR0WRxiqvkwd6nst8BYBJ5hXxqxvEATJRe-Ogluv9u5Cd05ywwTvMoYe8ak
To learn more about Ford Farms Pony Rides and Petting Zoo, visit their webpage at http://myfordfarms.com/, or follow them on FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/FordFarmsPettingZooPonyRides/ Ford Farms is at 22827 Road 180, Lindsay.