“YOUR VISIT”

PLEASE READ THIS
If you are short of time here are the highlights

1. Admission is $10 for all ages. Cash or check. No credit cards. Please be ready to pay on arrival. No change is available. Please respect our admission price. No change is available. Please respect our admission price. Please be prepared to pay on arrival. No credit cards. Please do not plan to debate our admission fee at the gate.

2. Our parking lot is small so park CLOSE together and pull in close to the plywood pig faces marking parking spots.  The address is 12936 Ghoston Road, Wake Forest NC 27587. Located near Falls Lake at the end of Six Forks Road at Highway 98. Make an appointment to visit. Park at a pig. Pull up close to the parking pigs. Park mindfully of others. Please don’t leave trash in the parking lot. There is a trashcan right there.

PLASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE Do not go down the neighbors private road behind our barn even if your GPS says to turn!!  This makes Farmer Mary’s neighbors very angry as it should.

3. Check open hours posted on website or facebook page then TEXT (please do not call during open hours since Farmer Mary will be busy with visitors. If you absolutely cannot text please try to call after 9pm when Farmer Mary will be less busy with animals and teens)  to arrange a visit DURING those open hours. Farmer Mary likes to know when people are coming so she can be available near the gate. She doesn’t want to be ten acres back fixing a fence when you arrive! 

 Please don’t text “can we come Thursday?” PLEASE BE SPECIFIC to avoid endless back and forth texts. For example you could text “group of five moms and six kids this Thursday at noon for picnic lunch and tour?” Farmer Mary is busy and cannot chat on the phone. She DOES NOT hang out on FB all day long. YOU will be very happy if she doesn’t spend all her time on the phone while YOU are visiting. Please do not text to ask if you can visit on a day the posted schedule says the farm is closed. Please read the schedule first. Text. Text. Text. 919-244-1800

Basic questions about visiting are ALL answered below.

4. BRING FOOD FOR FEEDING THE ANIMALS! Long list is farther below. Short list is kale, collards, romaine lettuce,  saltines, wheat crackers, whole wheat bread, plain cereal (any but plain cheerios are most popular), carrots, celery, green beans, apples, grapes. Farmer Mary tries to have $5 mixed buckets of food for sale and sometimes has sleeves of crackers, cereal or corn in baggies available for sale. You will have more fun with more animal food!  Please do not allow your children to take or beg animal food from other visitors buckets.  Most visitors who choose to are able to meet, feed and hold bunnies, guinea pigs, chicks when available, chickens, baby goats and whatever else is small and cuddly.

Please keep in mind the size of the animal and don’t give a huge carrot to a baby goat or half an apple to an emu and expect them to be able to swallow it. We have had instances of choking and near death due to poor feeding choices made by visitors. Always simply think before you feed.

5. Yes there is a bathroom (outdoor composting toilet)and hand washing (sink and hot water at the barn)

6. Please plan to keep a very close eye on your children while you are here. Including while they are on our hammocks and especially while they are holding and feeding animals.

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Now, the longer, much  more informative post Farmer Mary REALLY hopes you will read before scheduling your visit.

Here is some basic information about visiting Winterpast Farm. Please read it instead of calling Farmer Mary with simple questions. She is BUSY most days all day with visitors or groups and cannot stop to chat or give directions or answer questions she has already covered here. Please respect her time. When you are visiting you will be glad if she doesn’t have to answer alot of phone calls during YOUR time at the farm! Please read to the end!!

The best way to schedule a farm visit is to look at the open hours posted at most posts on the website blog (www.winterpast.org) or Facebook page (Winterpast Farm) or winterpast_farm on Instagram and then contact Farmer Mary by text (919-244-1800) and suggest a specific date and specific time for a visit. She may say fine or may ask you to pick another time or another date. Birthdays and away events and large groups sometimes get scheduled even after she posts the “open” hours. She tries to update open hours regularly. Please do not text to request a visit time when the farm is posted closed.

Please make an appointment to visit. Text Farmer Mary with farm visit requests. Please state dates you want the ages, ages that will interact with the animals, remind Farmer Mary if you have visited the farm, mention specific animals uou want to see or if you hope to collect and buy eggs. Please try to provide as much information possible so Farmer Mary can simply reply “yes” and avoid endless back and forth texts. 919-244-1800. Please do not FB message, Instagram message, leave voice mails, or try to email. Texting ONLY please. 919-244-1800

WHAT IS THE ADDRESS??

12936 Ghoston Road Wake Forest 27587
Located at the end of Six Forks Road just past Highway 98 at Falls Lake

WHEN IS THE FARM OPEN??

The farm is open, usually, most weekdays including most holidays, most weekdays, most weekends and most Sundays. The FARM OPEN schedule is posted very regularly on the Winterpast farm facebook page and on the home page of the website. This varies widely week to week. Farmer Mary takes her animals to schools and away events. Farmer Mary is a single mother with four teens and occasionally has to be away from the farm helping with marching band and other teen activities. Please do not just drop by the farm during either open or closed hours.

Please do not just drop by the farm. PLEASE SET UP YOUR VISIT IN ADVANCE AND DON’T JUST DROP BY! Farmer Mary may be away at a school or church or other event; she may have a group at the farm for a birthday or field trip; she may be busy with one of her four teens; she may be worming the goats or birthing piglets….After contacting Farmer Mary by texting her to ask if your size party can visit at a certain time (please be specific and don’t just say today or this afternoon. You might text “could our party of 3 adults and 5 children come on friday the 14th at noon?” so she can quickly respond without endless back and forth texts. You will be glad if Farmer Mary doesn’t have to stop endlessly to chat or text on her phone to answer basic questions already answered here while YOU are visiting the farm (919-244-1800) Farmer Mary will set up a date and time to meet with your family or group  introduce the animals, and feed and pet and hold the animals. Most visitors who choose to are able to hold bunnies, guinea pigs, chicks when available, chickens, baby goats and whatever else is small and cuddly.

HOW MUCH IS ADMISSION??

Farm visits are $10 per person, all ages. Adopted children visit at no charge. There are old reviews of Winterpast Farm on the Internet showing the old price of $5 per person. If you see one, please let Farmer Mary know so she can try to get the review updated or deleted so people are not misled. The price changed several years ago to reflect the rising cost of feeding the animals and the increasing ongoing rescue work Farmer Mary does with unwanted pets. Please respect our admission price. Please plan to pay with exact change cash or a check.

Please pay on arrival. Otherwise it is easy to forget and to leave without paying. Please pay $10 per person. Farmer Mary does not have change. There are items to purchase including fresh eggs, peacocks feathers, and unique clay ornaments made by Farmer Mary all at $5 each which you can use to “make change” if necessary. Cash or check only. Please respect our admission price.  Please be ready to pay $10 per person at the gate quickly so you can enter and begin meeting, feeding and holding the animals..

The average time of a farm tour is about an hour, although you are welcome to stay longer after Farmer Mary moves on to welcome another group. Most visitors who choose to are able to hold bunnies, guinea pigs, chicks when available, chickens, baby goats and whatever else is small and cuddly. However, adults must stay with their children and not allow them to chase animals or open gates or pens. Some groups bring lunch or a picnic dinner.`There are picnic tables in a “chicken free” zone by the barn (please help to keep it chicken free and refrain from feeding any stray chickens who might be nearby) and another picnic area is inside the gate where it is very obvious that chickens and other animals will be very close to you.  Please do not leave trash on the tables or ground.

WHAT ANIMALS DO YOU HAVE?

As of July 2017 we have:

Miniature donkeys

Goats-large and small. You may walk a baby on a leash or hold it in your lap.

Sheep-large and small

Emu

Ducks

Quail

Chickens including baby chicks

Bunnies including babies

Guineapigs

Turtles

Fish

Peacocks including babies
FRIENDS OF THE FARM

Many families and individuals visit Winterpast Farm regularly and you may see someone enter and head straight to the back pasture or let themselves into pens to hold animals. That does NOT mean you can do the same. This is the privilege of “friends of the farm” and it is earned by visiting regularly, helping out occasionally at the farm and exhibiting good behavior during visits. On your next visit you may choose to have a tour (the animals and farm exhibits are always changing) or you may wander around and feed animals, swing on swings.  After Farmer Mary gets to know you/your group well you may even possibly walk the back pasture (assuming you ask Farmer Mary first, have well behaved children and that you are watching them at all times.) There are few rules at the farm but no chasing animals and no climbing woodpiles are two. Also, NO OPENING PENS! We have had several naughty children open pens lately and then we all spend our visit time chasing and capturing those animals. There is a good reason every animal is in a certain place, whether in a pen, front yard or pasture.

WHEN IS THE FARM OPEN??

Farmer Mary keeps her weekly schedule updated very regularly in most posts at the Winterpast Farm Facebook page,  the winterpast_farm Instagram page and the blog at our www.winterpast.org website. The schedule will vary widely week to week. Texting (919-244-1800) is ALWAYS the best way to contact Farmer Mary, especially for last minute requests for visits. When you text please be specific with number of people, exact date and time of request. This eliminates much back and forth texting. If she is busy with her four teens or with her animals at a preschool, church, away event, group visit, or Birthday party she will NOT have time to chat on the phone. If you have a date in mind for a visit months out just ask (by texting 919-244-1800)

WHAT TO BRING ALONG ON YOUR FARM VISIT

When you have a date and time settled with Farmer Mary for your visit, it’s time to plan what you will bring along to the farm:

—Food for animals can include apples, carrots (any size although new visitors might like to bring longer ones. the ones with greens attached are tasty to animals on both ends as well as lovely in your photos) kale, cereal (any kind although less sugary the better) crackers (any kind although wheat is best) whole wheat bread (white bread is not good) grapes, celery, green beans and more. Just nothing moldy and no meat or cheese (unless it is a treat for CHARLIE the farm dog!)
—plenty of water for hot days
—possibly a picnic lunch or supper? Farmer Mary has picnic tables set up in several areas. She also has hand sanitizer, antibacterial wipes and hot water and soap available for hand washing.
The food visitors bring are just treats for the animals. Farmer Mary regularly heads to Tractor Supply or Southern States for feed for all her animals. Wintetpast Farm has a AMAZIN Wish List if you would like to help Farmer Mary feed all the animals.  If you want to donate feed to the animals here is the types food Farmer Mary regularly buys at Tractor Supply or Southern States:
Whole corn
Pig food
Cracked corn
Scratch feed
Rabbit feed (any brand)
Goat food (any brand)
Sheep food (any brand)
Sweet feed (for goats, or labeled for all livestock, any breed)
Doggy Bag brand dog food at Tractor Supply (for the emu)
Shredded. Beet pulp
Poultry feed- any brand, crumbles or pellets
THANK YOU for supporting a small local farm family!

PARKING

When you get to the farm (12936 Ghoston Road Wake Forest 27587) pull in the gravel drive by the big plywood llama and petting zoo sign. Please PARK CLOSELY TOGETHER in our small lot. Please pull up to close to the fence or to the small painted pig shapes marking parking spaces.  Please keep others in mind. There is parking for at least 25 cars if YOU park mindfully of others.  If the lot is full and you end up parking on Ghoston Road in front of the farm have ALL four wheels off the road.
Even if your GPS says “turn” DO NOT turn down the adjoining neighbors private road just behind the barn. This happens regularly and is very annoying to the neighbors. Please look for the farm entrance. If the lot is full you can park on Ghoston Road in front of the farm (wheels off the road) or on Waterline Road just below the farm entrance.
Texting Farmer Mary when you arrive is always a good idea especially if you are early or late. She wouldn’t want to be ten acres back fixing a broken fence with you waiting at the front gate!  However if you are just running a bit late don’t bother texting.
919-244-1800
PLEASE PARK MINDFULLY (of other visitors). Please move your children quickly through the parking lot. The main gate is very obvious. Please be ready to pay $10 per person.  Cash or check only. Please do not plan to debate our admission price at the gate. 

PLEASE PAY WHEN YOU ENTER

When you enter the gate you can pay your admission (cash or check) in the wooden box at the gate or pay Farmer Mary. Please pay on arrival. Otherwise it is easy to forget and to leave without paying. Please pay $10 per person. This is the price of admission. Please pay $10 PER PERSON.  Please respect our admission price.

Farmer Mary DOES NOT HAVE CHANGE. There are items to purchase including fresh eggs, peacocks feathers, and unique clay ornaments made by Farmer Mary all at $5 each which you can use to “make change” if necessary.

PLEASE RESPECT OUR ADMISSION PRICE

Farmer Mary is raising teens and animals with her farm income; this is NOT a sideline hobby. Admission is $10 per person. Adults $10. Children $10. Toddlers $10. Adopted children and Foster children visit at no charge. (Farmer Mary adopted two of her four children.) Farmer Mary does not have change. Please have exact cash (or buy a dozen fresh eggs $5 and/ or a beautiful peacock feather $5). You may also pay by a check made out to Winterpast Farm. Thank you.

Farmer Mary or one of her teen volunteers will greet you and help you transfer your animal feed into bucket which is easier to carry around. She occasionally has corn and crackers and other animal food for sale in case you forgot. If you choose to not bring food and not buy food please do not allow your children to take food off the for sale table and please do not allow them to take or beg animal food from other farm visitors.

Most visitors who choose to are able to hold bunnies, guinea pigs, chicks when available, chickens, baby goats and whatever else is small and cuddly.  Most animals sit in laps much longer with food offered.

Feel free to feed animals (offer any animal anything; sometimes they will surprise you: did you know the goose loves carrots and the peacocks love grapes?) Feel free to take pictures…Farmer Mary will assist with holding animals. She is also always happy to take photos of your group with your camera.

WATCH YOUR CHILDREN AT ALL TIMES

Please keep an eye on your children and do not allow them to open cages, close cages (some pens are open until animals put themselves to bed there at night), chase animals or open gates to the pasture. 

Please watch them closely on our hammocks and while they are holding or feeding animals. Stay with your children at all times.

Please do not allow them to handle eggs for sale or to take displayed peacock feathers which are for sale. Peacocks molt their long tail feathers every fall and selling their feathers pays for their food. Peacock feathers are for sale for $5 each. Feathers found on the ground are free for you to take home.

PICNIC AT THE FARM

There are many picnic tables and you are welcome to bring along a picnic lunch or supper or snacks. Please clean up after yourself as soon as you are finished eating and please look under and around the table for plastic straw wrappers or other trash the animals might eat. There are plenty of trash cans and recycling bins for your use. There is a new picnic area by the barn/parking where you can dine “chicken free.” ( in order to keep this area “chicken free” please do NOT feed the rare chicken who might wander out there ). Farmer Mary is happy to give you a picnic tablecloth if you choose to eat there. 

There are also picnic tables inside the gate where you will be much closer to animals and a chicken may try to jump on the table or Charlie the farm dog may hang out closeby. If you don’t want the possibility of a chicken near your food simply DO NOT choose to picnic in that area.

OF COURSE THERE IS A BATHROOM

There is a composting toilet to the left of the peacock pen. The bathroom has everything you need including antibacterial wipes for hands. Please tell Farmer Mary directly if there is a problem…no toilet paper, low supply of sawdust to cover your “deposit”, spider webs…she is very happy to assist you immediately. There is antibacterial sanitizer and wipes at the table where you get your feed bucket. There is hot water hand washing, if you prefer, out the gate at the barn by where you parked. If you want to use this, please open any closed gate and then close all gates and doors you open and watch your children by the parking lot. Please turn OFF the water if you use this sink.

Please feel free to ask Farmer Mary any questions or for any assistance.
WHAT THE ANIMALS LIKE TO EAT

Here is a copy of a post Farmer Mary wrote specifically about what the animals like to eat.
When you plan a visit to Winterpast Farm you can bring along food to feed the animals. This will make the visit more fun since regular visitors know what food to bring and your children will be sad if they have nothing to feed the animals. The food also encourages the bunnies and guinea pigs to sit on laps so please plan to bring food if you want to interact this way. Farmer Mary tries to have $5 mixed buckets of food available for purchase but these get sold out quickly on busy days.  She occasionally has some donated bread or other foods she may give you to help distribute, but this is not a regular thing. She occasionally has sleeves of saltines and corn available by the baggie full for $1 for those who arrive without food to purchase.

Some things they like include:
Apple slices
Carrots (big, small, they esp love the ones with greens still attached! New visitors may like to hold a long carrot as they learn how to feed the animals)
grapes
kale
Cabbage
collards
Celery
Peppers (yellow and red they like more than green)
Cereal- any is fine, but Cheerios type plain is best and the most popular
Crackers
Bread (whole wheat is best, and sturdy slices are easier to hold out for feeding, or to throw to the ducks and turtles in the pond)
Popped popcorn
Raisins, dried fruit of any sort
green beans

Almost anything but meat or cheese, and please, nothing moldy. Feel free to clean out your cupboards and pantry and bring outdated or stale food. Farmer Mary can use outdated cans of food for the pigs so bring it along! Some frequent farm visitors bring food when they clear out their refrigerator before vacation.
This fall bring your pumpkin innards to feed the pigs after you carve your Halloween pumpkin!

If you have extra oranges, Farmer Mary gives the bunnies and Guinea pigs orange halves or slices regularly for the vitamin C.

If you are clearing out your garden bring the vines and too big beans and other veggies..someone will eat it!

Favorites of the animals (this can change a bit)

Bunnies:apples, carrots, celery, kale and other greens, crackers, raisins, veggies
Guniea pigs:same as bunnies
Peacocks: bread, crackers, kale, apple slices, grapes, dry dog food
goats: apple slices, carrots, celery, kale sometimes, crackers, bread, veggies
MABEL and CLAIRE the Donkeys: apple slices, carrots, sometimes celery, crackers
Ducks and chickens:crackers, bread, corn, cereal, apple slices (if thin)
DORIS the goose: carrots, apple slices, kale, lettuce, bread, crackers, cereal, corn
EMU: dry dog food, apple slices, kale, grapes, crackers, bread

FISH/TURTLES: whole wheat bread, romaine lettuce, cheerios

General Dislikes: onions, leeks, white potatoes, lemons, limes

They will eventually eat sweet potatoes and squash of any sort, but may not take it from your hand unless sliced thinly. These can be left in bunny and guniea pig cages for them to snack on.

Farmer Mary is happy to take unwanted dry cat and dog food. She often has a rescue pup living at the farm.

The food visitors bring are just treats for the animals. Farmer Mary regularly heads to Tractor Supply or Southern States for feed for all her animals. If you have a friend who is in any food-related business who might have excess food available, please let Farmer Mary know. She is very happy to take donations of bread, food, outdated food, hay bales that have been used for decor (same with pumpkins) etc. Winterpast Farm has a AMAZON Wish List if you care to help Farmer Mary.

Thank you for supporting a small local family farm. Thank you for telling your friends about Winterpast Farm! Be sure and suggest they read this!
(919) 244-1800 is best for texting Farmer Mary. Please do not call during open hours and expect Farmer Mary to answer. Please DO NIT leave a voice mail. Please TEXT like Farmer Mary asks. 919-244-1800

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