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culture shock photoGREENER PASTURES
A big, beautiful white barn sits strong among green fields. Flanked by a little red barn and picturesque white fences, it's a country dwelling in the middle of city living.
By Allyson Marrs

Kelsey Creek Farm (, located at 130 Place Southeast in Bellevue, is nestled away from the downtown towers. Its 1930s pasture is home to ponies, sheep, goats, pigs, chicken, rabbits and waterfowl.

Though farm life moves a bit slower than the hustle of downtown, the farm is constantly bustling with activities, classes and births of baby animals.

Farmer Jayne takes visitors on tours of the grounds, where country-loving folk can interact with the animals and learn more about the farm's history. It's owned by the City of Bellevue and operated by the Parks and Community Services Department. The animals are available for viewing every day, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

culture shock photoFor more country living, the farm offers Little Farmers, Farm Explorers and Farm Hands classes, which give children hands-on experience. They help with animal care—such as feeding—and kids can get a taste of the not-so-fun, but more-than-important barn chores.

During the classes, participants also enjoy pony rides, baking and gardening, which is at a prime during this time of year.

Ages vary for each class; kids as young as two, or as old as eight, are welcome. The Little Farmers and Farm Explorers classes pick back up in September, and additional class activities vary by season.

But it's the tours that will have you wishing you could just roll back to the simple joys of life on a daily basis. Summer on the farm is a special time, as the animals are alert and ready for some attention.

Not only do visitors spend pen time with the creatures, but they can also experience wool carding, and children have the opportunity to create fuzzy sheep from real wool.

As the temperatures cool and the colors change, the harvest season begins. October involves garden and pumpkin patch tours, after some hard work in the barn with child-size pail and rakes, of course.

Delving deeper into fall, November celebrates the pioneer, with a log cabin, frozen in the 1890s. Plus, there are plenty of activities to bring the time period back to life, such as butter churning, wheat grinding, dough kneading, water pumping and playing dress-up.

Once spring blossoms, the farm celebrates the birth of its newest animals, and children learn about the care required to nurture the young into adulthood.

To bring it full circle, visitors also plant pumpkin seeds through the month of May and return in the fall to find what the harvest has yielded.

The whole setting is tranquil, and the fields, complete with picnic tables that are open from dawn to dusk, are perfect for an escape.

It looks like you can take the city out of the country, but you can't take the country out of the city.


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