Trying to rebound from county funding cuts, coordinators for the Southern Oregon Historical Society's Hanley Farm are putting the old homestead to work earning its keep.
"First Saturdays" at Hanley Farm are gearing up to offer weekends of chicken feeding, buggy riding and historic home tours.
"First Saturdays" at Hanley Farm take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. today, and on June 2, July 7,
Aug. 4 and Sept. 1. Hanley Farm is located
at 1053 Hanley Road (Highway 238) between Jacksonville and Central Point. For information, call 773-2675 or visit online, www.sohs.org
Built and run for generations by the pioneer Hanley family, marketing coordinator Harley Patrick said program coordinators had been stepping up efforts to make the farm self-sustaining by utilizing a large greenhouse and the farm's sprawling fields.
Farm season this year will kick off with free admission (today only) and Hanley Farm's first-ever spring plant sale with heirloom flower and vegetable "starts" grown on the historic farm as well as plants propagated from the botanical gardens on the farm.
"It's going to be our first- ever plant sale, so it's pretty exciting," said Patrick.
"It's really a move to make Hanley farm kind of sustaining and self-supporting. Everything we'll be offering has been grown without pesticides and chemicals. We're hoping it's a big hit."
Flowers and veggies aside, the farm is a popular spot for families.
The site offers tours of the historic Hanley family farmhouse, the old barn and the historic greenhouse.
Kids can feed chickens, ride a horse-drawn buggy and see various demonstrations, from butter churners to yarn spinners.
Even at a time when families are tightening their own budgets, Patrick said weekend visits to the old farm is good family fun and a bargain compared to other Rogue Valley attractions.
Admission is free this weekend and future admission rates are just $5 for adults and $3 for kids (ages 3-12) and seniors.
"It's a great deal and it's a fun place to be," Patrick said.
"I think it's really unique in the area. It's kind of a slice of the way things used to be and it's a way to kind of get away from the city and see the way the valley used to look a hundred years or more ago."