Starting this Friday the farm will be open to public each weekend from 1-7 p.m. until Oct. 31. The farm will feature various activities for kids of all ages such as a 4.5-acre corn maze shaped like Noah's Ark, hayrides, bonfires, and even a pumpkin slingshot. Other activities throughout the day will include story time, various games, as well a build your own scarecrow craft.
The family-run farm, headed by Tom Holton, is 155 acres. The farm has been within the Holton family since 1943 and for the last 15 years the family has been raising their livestock as well as their plants naturally. Which has recently become important to many people in the past few years.
"The reason we went the all-natural route is because a lot of American farmers do it the right way but, there are people out there who don't follow procedures correctly," explained Holton. "They've made consumers scared of the product at the grocery store."
Although the farm wasn't always naturally run, it was fully supported by his mother and father, Bud and Audra. Starting off as a young boy on a milk crate, Holton sold pork chops and pork burgers at the county fair. He learned from his mother and father that promotion of agriculture was extremely important for success.
"We used to go to grocery stores all over the state and pass out pork samples," Holton said. "Promotion is a big part of what we've done as a family."
Today, Holton still practices the same teachings his parents passed down to him. It is with the Red Barn Farms that the Holton family hopes to provide a fun-filled educational day. Many children as well as adults do not know much about where their food comes from about not only where their food comes from but also what is in it.
"We have a passion for teaching kids where their food comes from," said Holton. "It's extremely important to understand the values, the hard work and the animals care that goes into producing a healthy product for people."
The experience at the Red Barn Farm is going to be enjoyable as well as educational. It is the Holton's goal for families to leave with a better understanding of the workings on a farm.
"Parents like this just as much as kids do," explained Holton.
Expanding the farm to include such activities is the first change Holton will make to the farm since his father passed away.
"It's been an emotional rollercoaster because this is something we've always done together and it's my first time on my own," explained Holton. "Opening day without him is going a tough day without him."
Holton and his family spent the past year traveling to different farms around both Indiana and Illinois seeing what worked and what didn't. It took a full year of planning and daily activities in the spring and summer to prepare for this fall.
"My kids were my target audience," Holton said. "We have a good vision for this year but it is a work in progress."
There is still a lot of work to be done but the Holton family will be ready for opening day on Friday, Sept. 16. The farm will be open each weekend up until Oct. 31.
The cost for adults will be $6 and kids two and under will be free. The family has chosen to give a $1 discount to those who bring a canned food item. The food items will later be donated to the Greencastle Christian Church as well as the Putnam County Food Pantry.
"We believe in this community," explained Holton. "This is where we live and this is where we want to do our business."
There will be fall decorations for sale, corn, pumpkins, as well as frozen all-natural meats. It is the Holton family's goal to be open year round. But, for now, starting out with this fall celebration will have to do.
The farm is located just south west of the Putnam County Hospital, at 4409 S. CR 25 W. in Greencastle. For more information visit www.redbarnfamily.com or call 720-8840.