Meet Cherry Hill Farm.
Let's begin with where I live because my photography studio is located in Woodinville, Washington but I live in the sleepy little town of Duvall, Washington. Out here 25 miles east of Seattle there is a vibrant community of farmers that live with pride of their farms. Life out here is peaceful with the exception of the occasional tractor crossing and that's exactly why my family decided to make Duvall our home. My husband is in the software business and having a place to get away from the city to relax everyday was our ideal. The main street is made up of small local businesses we are all proud to support and when you stop at the family grocer to pick up milk, someone you know is bound to be there for a little chat. There are many farms out here in the valley. There is Cherry Valley Dairy Farm, Novelty Hill Farm, and even JP's Tree Farm for Christmas trees, but pass all of these farms there is a working family farm called Cherry Hill Farm. It's about a 15 minute drive from the center of town along a beautiful scenic road called Mountain View and the name suits it very well. At the top you can see both Seattle and Mt. Rainer on a clear day.
Cherry Hill Farm provides guided educational farm visits for the public as a socially distant educational activity for all ages. They have goats, sheep, pigs, rabbits, chickens, turkeys, dogs and cats. Most animals on the farm can be pet and hand fed. Other activities on the farm may include collecting eggs, seeing baby animals, picking berries, seeing the meal worm farm or other garden harvests. All of the farms activities are seasonal, so you'll need to ask if you are hoping for a certain experience. It's all fun, no matter which season you choose to visit.
The love behind the farm.
I actually met the Menge Family when we lived in Woodinville. Our two kindergartners meet at Cottage Lake Elementary and became fast friends. The day our whole family met their whole family we all knew it was meant to be, forever family friends. We now call ourselves the Meng-ows pronounced like the fruit mangoes with an "e". We mashed our names together and we are one big happy family. The kindergartens are now in middle school and watching our tribe grow up has been a blessing. This is why when our dear friends decided to purchase a farm out in Duvall we gladly supported and then eventually followed them to same small town. I have watched this hard working family build Cherry Hill Farm from the ground up. I remember the very first Rex rabbits and now I am excited to welcome the newest little piglets. They keep growing and I am amazed by their dedication. The amount of education and persistence is breath taking, but they keep on moving forward and have created a wonderful little farm.
The kids are all in.
At Cherry Hill Farm everyone in the family pitches in, including my kids when they are over there. The kids know pretty much everything. They are feeding animals, cleaning stalls, collecting and washing eggs, building new animal enclosures and cuddling all the new babies. Micah and Bethany, both 4H kids, means that they can tell you all the rabbit facts, most of the sheep and goat facts, and some of the pig facts. In their defense the pigs are the newest addition and so they will know all the pig things soon enough. They are all happy to walk around spouting out all the facts they know about the farm and even little Grace with her meal worm farm can tell you all that you need to know about the meal worm farming process. You can find Farmer Grace's Meal Worms coming to the co-op soon.
What we are doing together.
When Covid hit and bringing the baby bunnies to my studio for portrait sessions was out of the question, I started thinking of ways that I could still offer bunny portraits that would fit the state regulations and still give people the chance to play with the soft bunnies. Melanie, the other Mengow mom, around the same time started giving private educational farm tours to help sustain the farm and give families a way to teach their kids about animals in an online classroom world. We love doing family bon fires up at the farm and one night around the fire it hit me, I could offer farm tours with an added portrait package so families can get those lovely baby animal portraits without having to bring the animals to my studio. We could bring the people to the animals and I could also do candid lifestyle shots while they were getting a tour of the farm along with their formal family portraits. We could give families a unique educational family portrait experience. It sounded like a total blast and that's how the farm tour family sessions were born.
I am all in on a visit to the farm.
If you are thinking that this experience would be perfect for your family then we should get you booked. All farm tour family portrait sessions include a two hour private farm tour, a personalized online gallery, and a custom portrait book that highlights your amazing day. Upgraded collection packages that includes wall art is also available. If you'd like more information here's the link to sign up: https://www.jphairowphotography.com/Farm-Tour-Sessions/
I hope to see you on the farm soon!