Many people don’t realize that the farm is a year-round job, especially when we are only open to guests from September thru December. This time of year, before the planting and shearing seasons, I finally have time to sit down, analyze the previous season, and ponder what’s next.
A few weeks back I attended the North America Farmers Direct Marketing meeting and trade show in Williamsburg, Virginia. It allows those of us in the farming industry to see what’s the latest and greatest in everything from pumpkin varieties to ticketing. I was lucky enough to get a back stage tour of Busch Gardens. Of course they aren’t open this time of year, but we were able to get a first hand look at some of their activities and behind the scenes operations. I was totally impressed with Busch Gardens new bio-metrics ticketing. Cameras capture guest images upon entrance into the park Those that are season ticket holders, or who buy a three-day pass, need not worry about loosing their pass or paper tickets. The cameras and computer automatically recognize the guest and allow them to proceed! How cool is that.
While I could never even dream of something like that, I appreciated the fact of how much Busch Gardens is dedicated to guest satisfaction. Something that we are passionate about and always are looking to improve on.
Next stop was Colonial Williamsburg. This is Julie our marketing managers old stomping ground, as she lived in the area for about 9 years. She had some great suggestions for restaurants and night life, all of which I had no time for!
What I did have time for was walking around this gem of a historic attraction. I met a very large horse and a black-faced sheep that got me to thinking, should we add one of these guys to Bunnyville?! I vote sheep, I am sure nieces Amanda and Hannah will vote the horse.
Big kudos to us! Our website was voted the #2 website at this international conference. The #1 website was for a soda pop in England, so as Julie pointed out – our website is #1 in North America! YEA!
While I was away, dad and mom were hard at work adding new blue bird houses to the Christmas tree fields. You may remember we started this project last may, and quickly had blue birds mating and raising chicks. I love this picture of the farm dog Zoey making sure that Dad stays safe and sound on the ladder.
As for what is immediately coming up, we will be sending out a survey for those of you who are on our email newsletter list. I really urge you to take a few minutes and fill out the survey. It is imperative for helping us make decisions about what is next at the farm. It’s the very best way for us to get feedback from our guests, and hey you may get a free ticket into our 2012 Pumpkin Patch and Harvest Fest.
For those who have been asking, Khan my Serval cat is growing so fast! He six months old and 22 pounds. His days are spent napping and well napping. Dog’s life nothing, it’s a cat’s life!
Although he was a bad kitty last week. While I was away, Khan was playing a little to rough, okay a lot rough, and broke a window in the kitchen. My poor niece Hannah walked in to take care of our animals and found the mess. Thankfully Khan was completely unhurt and watched over as Hannah cleaned up the glass!
This delightful weather has allowed us to work in the fields and get a head start on cleaning up brush and garbage (yuck) in the fields. Just a reminder to please recycle you bottles and please throw out your dirty diapers! Yes, we actually found a couple! Since we seem to be ahead of the game, I was put on notice that dad just might want to start trimming trees! Hold on Dad, it’s still too early!
Not to forget! It’s Stokoe Farms 200th Anniversary. In February of 1812 my ancestor Thomas Stokoe purchased property on what is now Bowerman Road in Scottsville, New York. This was the start of 6 generations of Stokoe’s farming. We are kicking off a huge celebration for my family. Keep your eyes open for announcements in our newsletter and on our Facebook page for special events. Who knows what we might have for our loyal farm guest!