petting zoo

Livestock Guardian Dogs:

It’s very likely that you will be greeted right upon arrival by Bel Laurel’s most popular residents, Simba and Nala, our famous livestock guardian dogs. These gentle giants love their job to protect farm from predators! Simba is a 7 year old

Anatolian Shepherd, and Nala is our year old puppy in training! Both dogs adore farm visitors and work hard to provide protection 24/7 to every vulnerable creature at the farm (humans and animals alike!) Thanks to their diligent watch, we have not lost a single animal to neighboring coyotes, raccoons, or other threats. They even help keep deer from eating up our crops before being harvested! Most of their work hours are over night, so during farm hours they simply enjoy belly rubs, head pats, and even handshakes from visiting friends!

(Because it’s their job to defend any potential threats, we ask that visitors do NOT bring any pets from home to the farm without express permission from staff in advance!)

Bee Keeping:

Bees pollinate our fields, orchards and gardens - providing nearly one-third of the food we eat. They bring sweetness to our lives, but bees face serious threats and need our help.

Healthy, functional beehives are needed for so many reasons. Our busy bees work tirelessly to aid in cross pollination which is essential to growing the foods we all enjoy eating. There are concerns about the dwindling bee population in the world today and the potential for negative outcomes without intervention to support our local bee populations. Here at Bel Laurel Farm, we maintain between three to six fully functioning and producing hives to ensure successful bees in our local area! It’s both interesting and fun to see the Bel Laurel Bees busy at work and to learn more as you watch our resident bee keeper working to maintain healthy hives throughout the seasons!

Fishing:

Give a man a fish and feed him for a day; but teach a man how to fish and he’ll be healthy for life! This classic hobby is also great way to improve mental and physical well-being. Battling even a small fish engages the shoulders, back, arms, core and legs and even improves balance Family bonding is encouraged as you spend time together promoting feelings of security and well-being, making fishing a worthwhile activity to learn! Relaxing, and spending hours in nature with a focused task is akin to meditation which is an activity linked to lowered blood pressure and reduced anxiety. Fishing also teaches self-reliance. In our world of over-stimulation and instant gratification, fishing puts your patience to practice! The potential of going home empty-handed yet persisting makes you a more patient person, accepting of defeat but unwilling to quit! Impatience causes stress, weakening your immune system and raising your blood pressure. Patience, meanwhile, makes you calmer and more content.

We keep stocked ponds and freshwater lakes year round! Bel Laurel Farm is fortunate to have waterfront property stocked with several types of fish. The wildlife in our water maintains a healthy ecosystem and could supply a healthy source of fresh protein in times of need. You can practice this art of survival by participating in our catch and release fishing experiences throughout certain times of the year!

Eggs: $5

Free-range eggs pack a nutritional punch unlike any other food: protein, omega-3 fatty acids, high levels of lutein and zeaxanthin, (which lower your risk of vision loss like macular degeneration later in life), as well as healthy doses of Vitamins A, D, and E. They also have plenty of choline to support memory and nerve function! Our organic, free range fowl contain anywhere from three to six times more Vitamin D than conventional supermarket eggs! Vitamin D helps your body maintain strong bones and teeth, support its immune function, regulate insulin levels, and more! Free range eggs also have up to a third less cholesterol than conventional supermarket eggs.

Most important to our farm is that we have happy chickens! We go the extra mile because we have a soft spot for animal welfare! Bel Laurel hens eat a healthy diet, have access to fresh water, and are allowed to roam as they please. They’re just happier - and happy, healthy chickens produce better eggs! Our chickens, ducks, and guinea hens are surprisingly friendly and typically enjoy being held, pet, and given tasty treats!

Eggs are typically available to take home for a $5 donation for a dozen free-range farm eggs. Eggs are also frequently given as prizes to lucky guest winners!

Animal Rescue: (donations/sponsors appreciated but not required)

Farm animals are amazing creatures who give so much love and affection to the families they help support and deserve to be treated with kindness and respect. Unfortunately, many of these precious animals live in subpar conditions with inadequate care and sometimes cruel conditions.

It is the goal of Bel Laurel as a nonprofit sanctuary to provide forever homes for animals in need. Most of our resident animals have come to us as rescues. Many have been physically abused and neglected and require specialty care and lots of extra love and attention to get them back to being the happy, healthy, loving farm family members they are meant to be!

We have saved horses, ponies, cows, goats, sheep, pigs, bunnies, and more! Thanks to so much support from all our farm visitors, we aim to be able to provide top notch care and lives to every animal that comes our way! We firmly believe that every animal deserves a chance to live their days out not only appreciated, but genuinely loved and spoiled as a way to thank them for important roles they play in every aspect of life!

Funds are raised via events, monthly horse boarding, or donations and are completely tax deductible! Please read through to see if any of these amazing opportunities could be right for you!