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Monday, March 1, 2010

Family Outing: Elodie Farms, Durham County, NC

Nestled at a crossroads locally called Mangum Store is the celebrated goat dairy farm named Elodie Farms. Triangle Mommies own Preschool Book Club visited the farm to connect real life experiences to scenes from the book of the month, Duck for President by Doreen Cronin.

From any location in the Triangle, one could get to Elodie Farms in a number of different ways. The easiest by far is to take the 501 North out of Durham until you reach Bahama Road. Make a right there. Drive through the quaint cluster of houses in Bahama and down past Lake Michie until you come to Hall Road on your right. Take Hall Road until it ends at a stop sign. You have made it to Mangum Store. Right across the four-way is the entrance to the hundred year old house, its outbuildings and the twenty-one acres that make up Elodie Farms.

Since my family and I were meeting a large group of Triangle Mommies families there, we pulled our car all the way into the yard at the back of the house near the barns.

Three little kids found in the barnyard.
Picture taken and published with permission by A. Arnson

Most of the families had already gathered over by the goat barn. It seems we planned our outing well as the barnyard was filled with the cutest little kids, and the Triangle Mommies children were cute too! Late February and early March is prime birthing time for farm animals like goats, sheep and cows.

After much picture taking and exploring the barn, the owner, David Artigues, gave us a brief history of the farm and his experiences starting a dairy.

The original tobacco farm was once owned by the Mangum Family and the main house was built in the early 1900’s. In 2002, Mr. Artigues bought it and started renovations for the farm and dairy.

Elodie Farms makes many types of goat cheese, most notably a Chevre, and these are featured in restaurants throughout the Triangle.

Our band of children and parents walked from the barnyard to the dairy that was renovated from an old tobacco packing house. Mr. Artigues showed us the milking room and his cheese making processes.

David Artigues in his cheese processing room.

Picture taken and published with permission by A. Arnson


At the end of our short tour, some of us wandered back out into the barnyard to play with the kids while others went for a short walk around the house. My son insisted on chasing the chickens around the grounds. It is one of his favorite things to do on a farm, so it must be done.

The two chickens and the rooster on Elodie Farms.

Picture taken and published with permission by A. Arnson

We ended our trip to Elodie Farms with a quick return to our book with voting on our favorite animal of the day. As of this article, the tally of the votes has not been counted, but I bet you it will be a tie between the goats and the chickens!

From agricultural wonders to state parks, Elodie Farms is another wonderful example of the interesting and varied outings one can experience in North Carolina.

To find out more information on Elodie Farms, visit the web site at: http://www.elodiefarms.com/index.html .


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