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The 100 Acre Homestead was joined by members of the Princeton Area Chamber of Commerce to cut the ribbon on their new business.

A local farm is inviting the public in to learn more about farming and have a fun weekend this fall.

The 100 Acre Homestead (6360 60th Ave., Princeton) will be welcoming families looking for a fun weekend escape or hoping to learn more about organic farming starting Sept. 18. The farm’s season runs until Oct. 24. Hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, subject to weather conditions. The farm also will be open the Thursday and Friday of MEA weekend, Oct. 21-22. Live music will be hosted 2-5 p.m. during the opening day Sept. 18.

“After everything shutdown with COVID, I know a lot of people have not been happy, or are depressed or feel locked inside with everything that’s going on, and I wanted this to be a place that families could come and laugh and smile, create memories and just have a joyful experience,” said Sara Rutten, who owns the farm with her husband, Jim.

Visitors can pay at the gate and wander around freely. Workers will be wearing 100 Acre Homestead shirts to set them apart from visitors and can be asked any questions about the farm and its operations, Rutten said.

Guests can pet and feed a variety of animals including goats, sheep, cows, llamas and alpacas. The farm also has a hay wagon and barrel train rides, yard games, obstacle courses throughout the woods, and walking trails. Food trucks will be invited out to provide meals for visitors. There also will be local vendors selling homemade products, according to Rutten.

The farm will help teach visitors how to set up their own homestead and how to do it without a lot of space or specialized equipment, according Rutten, who grew up on a farm near Litchfield.

The Ruttens built the homestead about five years ago, but previously worked on a farm nearby. In total they’ve been organically farming for about 15 years, Rutten said.

Once the Ruttens started getting a variety of animals, Sara noticed her 7-year-old son Henry loved interacting with them.

“We decided that maybe other families would enjoy coming out here and seeing what we have,” Rutten said.

The homestead is a fully organic farm. Rutten focuses on organic farming because she’s concerned about the health impacts chemical additives like pesticides may have on the people who consume the food they’re used on.

“I’m really passionate about focusing on giving animals that live on the farm the best life they can have while they’re here,” Rutten said. “And I guess I’m just completely against using chemicals and other things on the land that God created.”

Currently the homestead is planning on being open every fall, but they hope to expand operations to the spring, when animals are having babies, Rutten said.

Tickets are $10 at the door for guests 3 years old and up. Season passes, private events and school tours also will be available. More information on how to schedule an event can be found at the100acrehomestead.com.

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