Join us Saturday, October 22 from noon to 4 for a celebration of fall! The weather should be beautiful!
We’ll have traditional farm games for young and old, like:
Come dressed in your costume – kids will win a prize for costumes!
Bake sale, hot cider, tours to meet the animals, and lovely hand-crafted items available for purchase in our gift shop.
This event is free and open to the public (but please leave your own pets at home).
When I was a kid, I loved to tease my dad about his ‘bald spot’. Honestly, he had just this round thing at the crown of his head – it started when he was in his mid-thirties and never went anywhere interesting. Eventually I got over making fun of my poor old dad who always took it in stride, having more important things on his mind like paying the electric bill and educating the youth of America. In fact, when he passed away at the age of 86, he had a full head of hair and a wonderful professorial beard. So much for youthful impertinence.
I recently got a bald spot, myself, giving credence to the “you’ll get yours” theory of life. I was out working on an alpaca farm. The alpaca was restrained and I was doing some dental work using a dremel, when I felt the maddening sensation of a biting black fly landing on my head. I of the quick reactions raised my right hand (wielding said dremel) and swatted that fly … and in the process, dremeled about 2 inches of hair right out of my scalp. It took ages to remove the hair from the tool. And I am now learning the joys of creating a comb-over.
Sullivan the dog also has a comb-over of sorts. One doesn’t often see bald dogs, especially in the lab family. The other day a young volunteer at the farm made a remark about his naked bum. I, now learned in the ways of hair loss, jumped to his defense. “Oh, it used to be much worse,” I said. “He had a terrible flea allergy when he arrived at the shelter. His hair has grown out beautifully since then.” The skeptical youth, sporting a luxuriant full head of hair, said dubiously she thought perhaps he was still a bit bald. Thank God I had my own comb-over in place that day.
People can be so quick to jump to conclusions based on external irregularities. But we are a farm FULL of irregular beings, me and my bald spot included. Madison the sheep has an extraordinarily big booty (due only to his own gluttony and nothing he can blame on his genes). Mehitabel the donkey has a sideways foot but she still serves up a mean kick to anyone who messes with her dinner. Joey and Newman Goat have chronic nose boogers, Dee Dee Donkey drools, Little Di the goat smiles sideways with her ‘wry mouth’, May May the goose has half a foot due to an unfortunate encounter with a snapping turtle. And Sullivan has a bald bottom.
Unless an irregularity presents a medical issue or causes actual distress to someone, it does not matter. A ‘special feature’ is just like color or height or shape or length of nose – or the beautiful sound of their voice.
A staff member at the Fairfax animal shelter told me that despite Sullivan’s friendly personality, a family who might have been interested in adopting him said, ruefully, “he’s just too ugly.” I have to shake my semi-bald head several times because I personally think Sullivan is so far from ugly that he’s never met the word. That is to say that love is blind to baldness. Which is a darned good thing given my recent hair loss. Now go out and hug a bald person.
“I yam what I yam and that’s all that I yam.”
Need to contact us about a visit?
In order to make your visit as memorable as possible we ask that you review our recommendations before making your trip.
We have informal visiting hours every Saturday from 10am-2pm, and formal events three times a year. If you are planning on dropping by on an unscheduled (informal) day, please just let us know you’re coming; we are working on Saturdays and need to plan for a tour guide for you. Please note: there are no unsupervised visits.
There is no cost to visit the farm. However, we greatly appreciate a donation, since donations is how we pay for feeding and caring for the animals.
There is a gate into the farm; please close it behind you so the animals stay inside the farm. Once inside, please feel free to park in front of the house in the areas indicated by the red arrows. Mr. Newman Goat-only parking is in the rear of the home, and he prefers to leave that space open for hay deliveries.
We welcome family visits, as we believe learning about the farm animals is a great educational experience for both young and old. Parents must stay with their children at all times.
Please leave all pets at home. If you need to bring a service animal please contact us first, as we have Guardian animals on the farm.
The animals love apples, bananas, lettuce, and other healthy treats like fig newtons. If you’d like to bring treats for the animals, please take them into the farm office first to be sorted. We monitor what the animals eat every day. If you wish to bring your own snack, please consume it in the designated visitor areas and do not bring any food into the barnyard.
Please feel free to take lots of photos! We love seeing the farm through your eyes, and your happy faces are our happy memories.
Please go to www.stargazingfarm.org/directions for detailed directions. We are approximately 6 miles away from Route 270, Germantown exit.
You visit the farm at your own risk. By visiting the farm you agree to the following:
I hereby acknowledge and assume the risk of participation in any and all animal related activities at SGF or in any and all locations where SGF activities take place. I hereby acknowledge that I will release, Star Gazing Farm, Inc., its officers, staff members, volunteers, instructors, advisors, and/or agents in any location where animal related activities are conducted or animals and/or property are used, of and from all claims which may hereafter develop or accrue to them on account of injury, loss or damage, which may be suffered by said minor or to any property, because of any matter, thing, or condition, negligence or default whatsoever, and they hereby assume and accept the full risk and danger of any hurt, injury or damage which may occur through or by reason of any matter, thing or condition, negligence or default, or any person or persons whatsoever.
It’s gorgeous. It looks, smells, and feels like dirt but it’s fully composted and aged manure all from our sanctuary animals, mixed with straw bedding and hay.
2016 pickup dates: Saturdays between 9 am and 2 pm. Bring a pickup truck, trailer, or heavy duty compost bags or buckets.
Reports back from gardeners say that this stuff is magic.
This season we have two varieties:
Catalyst Compost: SMOKIN’! If you need hot manure to get your own compost pile cooking fast, you should bring tins or heat-proof cannisters. This stuff will get your compost broken down much faster, and will add vital nutrients.
Magic Mountains of Manure: 100% composted manure, multi-flavored: gifts from cows, goats, sheep, horses, and a variety of fowl, plus straw and hay, all cooked, regularly turned, and ready to go. Can be put directly on working gardens and lawns.
Note: we are not “organic”, but we do not use pesticides or any kind of chemicals on the property. All animals are free range, happy, and healthy, and their primary diet is orchard grass, timothy hay, seeds, and fresh fruits and vegetables.
We invite you to come and take as much as you want, as many loads as you want. If you are able, we’d greatly appreciate a tax-deductible donation to the farm to help us keep our tractor running and filled with diesel, as little or as much as you want to give.
For large loads, or if you can’t make it on Saturdays, please contact us regarding other arrangements for pickup.
We offer community service learning hours to young people in the Montgomery County school system! Volunteers must be at least 11 years of age. Volunteer Application Form.