My three year old developed a sudden interest in fishing last week. She somehow brought it up and was asking all about how fishing worked and if we could go. We had a birthday coming up in our family (plus Father’s Day) so my husband looked up some places and found one that would be perfect for us, you know, because the only one of us that has done any real fishing is the oldest daughter and that was when she was little with her grandparents. Needless to say we are as a whole, inexperienced when it comes to pulling wiggly fish out of the water so we chose a place that was all in one, guaranteed a catch and would gut and clean the fish for us. We are not squeamish about the whole gutting and cleaning part (we break down most of our own meat) but it was much more convenient for them to do it for us than to bring our knives and set up a station on our own. This place also had a separate pond for the fish that were to be caught so that they would taste cleaner and less muddy. I am not a fan of trout because every time I have eaten it all I can taste is pond water and it is really off putting so having the fish be cleaner tasting was something I was looking forward to.
The place we went to was pretty small, just a couple of ponds, and obviously family run. It was mostly for little kids to have the experience of catching fish without much of the waiting. There were a bunch of other little kids there shrieking and hollering every time they caught a fish and it was hilarious. The owners were genuinely happy that the kids were having such a good time which was awesome to see.
The girls walked around the pond deciding which fish we would catch while the owners explained the rules to us. Our son was too little so he just watched but he had a great time. He loves people watching and there was definitely new things for him to see.
My husband helped our daughter at first and they had a ton of fun. She is a total foodie and not squeamish at all when it involves where her food comes from. Since she was little she has known where her favorite food (chicken) comes from and she loves to eat all parts of it. I know when we get chickens if we ever slaughter them for food she will want to be involved in the whole process. Nevertheless we talked about how fishing would go for a couple of days before hand and went over how we would pull them out of the water and the people would cut them open for us so we could eat them. The whole possibility of catching her own food and cooking it was very exciting.
After a few tries we got the hang of it and caught our first fish!
We caught a total of three fish, the last being the biggest. They were feisty so I had to keep the net over the bucket so they didn’t escape. My son was a little nervous when the fish were jumping around but he was super curious.
While the lady gutted our fish we headed over to the feeder ponds to feed the little fish.
Our son loved feeding the fish. He very carefully picked up a couple of pieces of food and tossed them in over and over again. He is a total animal lover and is always trying to take care of our pets at home.
After picking up our fish we headed to a farm we had passed on the way to the fishing spot. Their gardens were open and we were able to walk around and look at how they were growing food in a sustainable manner. The kids loved to run around and show us all of the plants.
It was interesting to see some of the farming practices they used like this field. They did not till it but just dumped mounds of dirt over the grass and planted their seed starts. I would think the weeds would take over but it interested me enough to go back later in the season to see how they are doing. The farm also offered tours and maybe we can go back another time and learn about some of the things they are doing.
Our son was fascinated with their chickens. He loves animals so he spent a lot of time staring at them and telling us about them. It was really cute. Please ignore my finger in this photo. I was juggling a toddler, snacks and listening to our preschooler tell us about how people eat chickens while taking a picture…
At the end of our walk we went into the market and bought some local food. We bought asparagus for our fish dinner, some strawberries that we ate for snack and some pickled beets for my Dad for Father’s Day next weekend. It was a really nice end to our morning. We had a lot of fun and had some new experiences for the family. We love that we were able to show our kids where their food comes from and have the entire experience from farm to table. So many people do not understand the whole food chain these days although more people seem to be learning about it than when we first started cooking as much as we could from scratch. People thought we were slightly crazy for U-picking and making our own jam but now it is much more common. I am really excited for this year’s garden since it will be our first year of growing vegetables and our kids will be able to see the whole process from seed to table. Every day we go out and check on our plants and it makes it so much more real to our kids than just buying them in the store. I highly recommend growing even one or two plants in pots to everyone if a full garden seems overwhelming.
We grilled our fish and asparagus and ate it for dinner and the fish was cooked wonderfully by my husband. The asparagus was much better than what we usually get from Costco, probably because it had been picked that morning instead of however many days before. Today was a great experience for our family and I would definitely do it again!
What sorts of activities does your family do on family day?