Thursday, October 18, 2012

Our Day at Freeman Farms, One of Arizona's Greener Farms

We decided to head up North to the Prescott/ Chino Valley area for some cooler temperatures.  It is always a wonderful drive up with beautiful sites along the way.

We decided to make a full weekend out of our trip.  I wanted to go camping at Lynx Lake and also check out Freeman Farms and their Pumpkin Festival.  When we rolled in to town we unloaded the car, set up camp, and then headed over to the Farm.  We could have easily spent the whole day out at the farm, but we arrived a little after lunch. 

When we arrived we noticed that one of the Freeman Family shows was going on over at the horse pavilion.  We got their in time to see a the Rodeo Princess, Chrystal Star and her horse Moonshine,  which the girls were going crazy about.  They all got there picture with the Rodeo Princess and horse.  One thing about Freeman Farms is that they love there horses.  These gorgeous friends can be seen all throughout the farm allowing kids and adults to pet and learn.  I walked away today knowing a lot more about horses and greener farming!

We then headed over to the corn maze, because the kids wanted to do that right away.   We walked through and the kids each took turns deciding on what way to head.  Mazes are a ton of fun for the kids.  I felt this maze was perfect for having fun and not overwhelming children.  The kids especially loved our living scarecrow greeting us as we entered and left the maze! 

The girls had a blast in the kids corner.  They rode on tracker trikes, took pictures in a pumpkin carriage, and Micheal turned into a scarecrow.  

This area was right next to the pumpkin patch.  I found out that Arizona's travel up to freeman farms for their assortment of heirloom and cooking pumpkins.  They grow their own pumpkin and are a family farm.

When walking back toward the other trains, marry-go-round and other kid fun events, we walked along Freeman Farms Agriculture Walk.  We learned more about their watering system and how they are conserving this special resource in their farming.  I will talk more on this below. 

I was a little bummed that I did not pay as close attention to the show times.  We were having so much fun that we missed the last west show.  This is a delightful reenactments of times in the old west.  The volunteers were true to time fashion and put on a great show!  This is one thing I will always love about Prescott and Chino Valley is its history.  Picture on the Right is from Freeman Farms Facebook page, be sure to check out other pictures there since I missed the show, and got there for the end.  The gentleman on the left was very sweet told us a little about the show we missed and gave the kids some candy. 

We then jumped on the Hay ride.  This was especially enriching.  Our cowboy guide told us more about the farm and the means they go to for conservation, while the kids enjoyed their lollipops given to them.  As we rode along we noticed the difference in sprinkler irrigation and the new irrigation that Norman Freeman, owner of the farm, help bring to Arizona farming.  It is quite impressive, since water in Arizona is always a concern.  With the new underground watering technique the field produces more, uses less water, and cuts down on weeds, allowing less need for herbicides.  I asked what kind of pesticides are used and it is a Eco oil, not commercial toxic pesticides. 

"Norm's love of agriculture evolved into a business opportunity when he applied his technical skill to large scale farming in the 1970's and convinced commercial farms to abandon wasteful and inefficient flood irrigation systems and install computerized underground drip irrigation systems ... long before "green" technology became popular.  Norm revolutionized the farming industry in the Southwest by helping farms increase production on a fraction of the water.
 Added benefits of drip irrigation are decreased weed production (since the water is directed to the root of the plant) - thereby reducing the need for dangerous chemicals, fewer bugs - again due to decreased weed production (less need for chemicals), and ability to effectively irrigate on windy or hot, sunny days.  Of course, Norm's technology has broadened since the 1970's- and now his commercial customers can manage not only irrigation, but every aspect of their crops, on their widescreen TV from the comfort of their couch!"~~Freeman Farms.  Please read more about the farm and owners here.
The field on the left use the old method of sprinkler watering.  As mentioned above this is not as beneficial and you can clearly see the dry and dead areas that missed watering, mostly from winds.  The field on the right uses the underground watering which was a brighter more lush green, had no spots, and was thriving. 
Our Cowboy guide mentioned this is especially good for the ground vegetables.  Pumpkins did not get rot areas fro standing or sitting in water.  The water is absorbed at the roots and keeps weeds down.  The whole problem with GMO crops started with the need to use Roundup ready seeds to decrease weeds.  Freeman Farms found a way to grow, use less resources, and keep the fields non toxic.  Thank you Freeman's!
After our hay ride we only waited a few minutes for the train ride.  The kids LOVED this.  The conductor told us there was no limit to the amount of times they wanted to ride, they just had to get back in line.  The girls took the blue cart, Michael took the green, and I took the yellow.  I loved the Picture on the right with them perfectly lined up.  The conductor took us on a great view of some more fields and a couple fun turns!  At one time the front was follows the back in a perfect circle! Below is me relaxing in my boots.  I was in the Chino Valley, were the west is still wild!
While you are at the Farm don't forget to stop by the petting zoo!  They have goats, geese, cows, a donkey, and more.  I loved this one cow, that was not a petting part of the zoo, but absolutely unique and beautiful.  The way Freeman loves their animals I am sure he/she had a name. 
Also, be sure to get the kids face painted too!  They had the best face painters I have ever seen.  These lady's do this all the time and are very good!  I asked a family visiting if I could take their picture.  I told the kids since we were camping with no bathrooms, they had to pass on this, but I would have loved to see how they looked if it was any other weekend. 

The kids can take a stroll on the pony rides too!
The girls loved to pretend drive the tractors!  You can sits and take pictures from a couple different old tractors located throughout the farm. 

Lynne Freeman does an exceptional job at educating and bring the love of horses to kids and adults.  She trains the horses herself, and gave a wonderful demonstration of it during one of the show.  Here is a picture of her with a beautiful Friesian horse named Annabelle.  
"While working in Tucson as one of the areas first female firefighters and paramedics, Lynne attended the University of Arizona and obtained a degree in Law.  Ultimately, she was drawn back to her love of animals and began breeding and training rare American Saddlebred and Friesian horses."~~Freeman Farms.
She talked to us about how the Mother horse is the disciplinary in the herd.  The male usually is on the outside and protects the herd, but the mom teaches the colts everything.  There was a great deal of information that the kids talked about all the rest of the week.  At the end she brought Annabelle up so the kids can ask questions and pet her.

 After the show Lynne talked to me about her dreams for the farm.  They are a true definition of Family Farms.  Going to great lengths to make farming fun and educational.  While embarrassing Eco Farming, they preserve the Old Time experience that is practically only seen in movies now a days.  Every year they ad a little bit more to make this is a fun safe place for families.  The marry-go-round is an antique and they are adding a few more antique rides to come in the future.  Even if you have visited the farm before you don't want to miss the Festival each year. 

Gather the family for a full day of fun at Freeman Farms in Chino Valley!  Find your way through the family fun corn maze, ride our farm themed Merry-Go-Round, meet the petting zoo animals, enjoy a hay ride, kids ride the train, pony rides available, face painting, great concessions, FOUR performance venues- see beautiful horses, watch trained dogs, learn to Polka dance, laugh at the skits in our Western Town, many great photo opportunities ... and, don't forget to pick the perfect pumpkin!  U-Pick pumpkins available while they last ... pre-cut pumpkins always available.  Many boutique varieties- great for baking!

As you can tell we had a great and know that this will be a visit every year now!  I want to thank the Freemans, Norm and Lynne.  We had such a wonderful day out and I will be coming back again!  I appreciate the lengths you go to to conserve and support family farms.  We will see you again next year!

Freemans Farms 
1096 E. Road 3 South
Chino Valley, AZ 86323
hours: 9-5
Visit our Website
Facebook Page

Disclosure: I am not paid for my reviews, post.  These are my personal thoughts and opions that I share to help others know about companies, lifestyle, and products I am passionate about.  


  1. Wow! That seriously looks like a lot of fun! I've only been to Arizona once, but it was so beautiful it took my breath away, and I'm from Alaska! I'll be so happy to move back to the mainland and have gems like this available to take my kids to! :D

  2. What a fun thing to do with the kids! I love horses I could spend the whole day just with that =)

  3. I wish we had a farm like that close to us, it sounds so wonderful, and rather amazing considering Monsanto taking over everything and making things less family friendly.