Snugly situated on a historic 1881 farm once known as the Schwabenlander Homestead, Mulberry Lane Farm takes its name from an ancient mulberry tree that once served as a favorite playplace for the Schwabenlander children. In those days, the 100-year-old tree was so esteemed that the children were not allowed to climb it while wearing shoes. Because of this rule, it wasn’t uncommon to find Lawrence, Harry, Norbert, and their nine other brothers and sisters swinging from its boughs, their shoes respectfully lined around its base.
Today, children still play in the shadow of that mulberry tree thanks to the founders of Green Meadows Farm, the Keyes family. Close friends of the last of the Schwabenlander boys, the Keyes adopted the farmstead and its original brick farmhouse into their petting farm empire in 2005 but gave it its own identity to honor the legacy of the original owners. Guided tours lead groups around the farm on foot and by hayride, where kids and adults are encouraged to interact and swap salad recipes with the goats, chickens, sheep, and rabbits that call the farm home. Along the way, visitors can learn how to milk cows and ride ponies or practice catching a chicken, then swing by the barn to snuggle kittens and Otis, the 900-pound boar. Before departing, visitors each receive a free souvenir in the spring and summer, and those who come in the fall have the chance to pick their own pumpkins from the 6-acre pumpkin patch.