Long-time Farmstead fans know that the cow train was one of our earliest additions to The MAiZE. The simple barrel train ride, dressed up as holstein cows, has delighted visitors for many years. We have built, and worn out, more than a few sets of "cows." Each generation of wheeled bovines serves up both reliable tradition and fresh excitement simultaneously.
A couple of weeks ago I lifted one end of the Cow Train Station with the loader to put it on a truck for the big Moooove. (That's a cow pun!) No sooner had I gotten it in the air when the whole building sagged into an upside-down rainbow as one of the structural beams it is built on crumbled to pieces. A decade of sitting in an irrigated field had taken its toll and it was clear that major repairs were necessary for survival of the station.
Over the days that followed, we hummed and hawed quite a bit trying to figure out just how to save the station. Lots of ideas were thrown around. Finally, with temporary braces in place and a hope for the best, we gently tipped the building on its back to expose the underside. Old beams were removed and replaced with timbers that will last. I was relieved when the station landed back on its feet (a little harder than I would have liked... oops!) sporting a new lease on life!
Moving day (or, in this case, month...s) is the ultimate spring cleaning: an opportunity to evaluate all the clutter that accumulates through the course of life. Some items don't make the cut and are discarded. Others represent valuable experiences and memories, perfect to take center stage in making the destination feel like home. Once in a while, you even discover some rotten timbers: things that have seemed just fine but on closer inspection are due for some close attention.
Our Farmstead family knows that the coolest MAiZE design, the most fun attraction, or the prettiest pumpkin is really all about the people who enjoy it. The success of The Farmstead is evidenced by thriving relationships between families, friends, coworkers, and classmates playing out on the farm. Perhaps those same relationships take occasional off-season attention just like the Farmstead attractions: cleanup, preservation, and even a little rotten beam rehab.
It may be spring cleaning now, but before long The Farmstead will roar to life for 2019. We just can't wait to see you Farming Fun and Harvesting Memories in Kuna. We know the Farmstead experience will be better than ever with a new look at our home farm. There will be a fresh layout, new activities, and solid traditions. Meet you at the Cow Train Station!