Indiana is full of farm land. It’s not hard to find a farm while driving through rural Indiana. However, not every farm provides an education on farming, protecting the environment, and producing high-quality farm-fresh products. Fair Oaks Farms does just that. Located in northern Indiana, Fair Oaks Farms invites the public to visit their farm and check out their environmental-friendly farming processes in raising livestock and creating delicious products.
Billboards line I-65 in between Indianapolis and Chicago encouraging folks to stop in and take in all sights. Luckily, work took me right past Fair Oaks Farms a couple of weeks ago. On my way back to Indianapolis on a beautiful Indiana day, I couldn’t resist stopping in for lunch and peek around the place.
Fair Oaks campus includes several barns, two restaurants and even a dog park. I didn’t have a ton of time (and I was starving) so I decided to hit up the Cowfe restaurant. The Cowfe housed a small gift shop with Indiana-made products like cheese plates and sauces. If you are a chocolate lover, try out the gourmet chocolate shop. Also, check out how they make their yogurt with the windows looking onto their yogurt making operation.
As you m
ake your way to the counter to order lunch, you’ll walk passed a giant cheese display. We’ll come back to that in a minute. The Cowfe provides a variety of lunch offerings, all mostly including some cheese. I opted for the grilled havarti pepper cheese and turkey sandwich. Yup. Totally worth the stop. A healthy slice of cheese covered each sides of a thick stack of turkey between two slices of bread. The cheese melts over the side once its grilled. Parmesan cheese sprinkled the bread (which I still can’t figure out what kind it was) to finish off the deliciousness. Despite being a little greasy (from the butter used to grill it. AH!), my taste buds voted this as one of the best sandwiches I’ve ever had.
If you are more interested in a sit-down type of meal, check out the Farmhouse Restaurant. The Farmhouse Restaurant serves a variety of farm-to-table meals. Starters include a Fair Oaks Farms’ Cheese Board (YES!!), Farmhouse Bacon Sampler, and two different types of flatbread. Sandwich options include the ribeye burger, the “Pig” Adventure, and short rib and brisket sandwich. Of course, it wouldn’t be Indiana without a pork tenderloin sandwich on the menu. There are salads and pizzas and a long list of main dishes that sound amazing. I can’t wait to try this when we go back up.
The Dairy Products
Next stop, the cheese display. They let you try any of the cheeses found in their case. The employee helping me (easily) persuaded me to try several and buy more than I ever intended. Angels created the havarti veggie cheese, I’m certain. My husband loves cheese curds and the cheddar cheese curds from Fair Oaks do not disappoint. Definitely try the Farmhouse if you love mozzarella cheese. It’s richer and thicker than traditional mozzarella. Finally, I couldn’t leave without getting the havarti pepper that was on my sandwich.
To finish up my culinary visit, I stopped by the ice cream case for some hand-dipped hard ice cream. Chocolate chip, to be specific. It is so hard to find great hand-dipped ice cream, especially chocolate chip. Unsurprisingly, I couldn’t help myself. People. If you like ice cream, you must go to Fair Oaks and grab some. You can tell its made with real milk and ingredients. The creamy consistency perfectly balances out the hard chocolate chips. It was the perfect treat after a long day of traveling.
As I savored my ice cream, I walked around the grounds. Everything was very open. Towards the barns were picnic tables where you can sit and enjoy the scenery and the goodies you just bought. Additionally, the open space is perfect to let kids run off a little energy after all that ice cream.
Beautiful landscaping covers the grounds. Fair Oaks Farms has the Green gate Garden which includes raised garden beds. Folks can even sponsor a bed if they are interested. It is clear why they hold special events here with such beautiful landscaping.
Unfortunately, I did not have time to go on one of their adventures. However, I definitely want to bring the girls back up here. It seems kind of silly since we all grew up around farms, but learning about how Fair Oaks makes their own products is different.
Visitors can take several different adventures while at Fair Oaks Farms. The Dairy Adventure demonstrates Fair Oaks commitment to sustainable farming and include a visit to their birthing barn. Kids can even plan in Mooville, an outside play area.
Additionally, the Pig Adventure lets visitors learn about modern pig farming. Baby pigs can be found in their Growing Barn. The adventure even lets kids play in their treehouse and take on a ropes course!
Finally, learn about crops that grow in Indiana fields at the WinField Crop Adventure. Go underground to learn about the bugs, roots and nutrients that live in Indiana soil. Take the time to chat with farmers to understand why farms are so important.
Put Fair Oaks on Your Travel List
We rarely make it to northern Indiana, but Fair Oaks is worth a special trip. If you find yourself near northern Indiana, take the time to stop in to grab some ice cream and learn about from where we get our delicious food.