Heavenly Acres Farm & Learning Center offers a full farm experience.
The farm is owned and operated by Forrest and Jennifer Bopp of Thorntown, who have made it their mission to introduce others to life on the farm.
Heavenly Acres participates in and hosts events to give the public more involvement with farm animals, including alpacas.
Babe, a mini horse, and Legend, an alpaca, have even been taken into nursing homes to visit with residents, Jennifer said.
Assisted living organizations were focused on first because they don't have the exposure to animals anymore, Forrest said. Some of the residents may have grown up with farm animals, but don't get to see them anymore.
The farm hosts private events such as birthday parties and baby showers and takes the animals to different places such as the Thorntown Public Library, Festival of the Turning of the Leaves, schools, daycares, nursing homes and assisted living organizations.
Patch, a mini horse, and Bugsy, an alpaca, are being trained for events as well, Forrest said. If it's a long event, the animals are alternated so it's not too much for them.
“We just want to share the animals and allow those who want to have contact with them to have safe contact with them,” Jennifer said.
Not only does the farm host private events, but it opens for public events as well. There are traditionally Easter egg hunts, July 4th fireworks, a fall festival with pumpkin picking and hay rides, and an observance of Arbor Day with tree plantings.
The Bopps are discussing ideas of how to celebrate the Christmas holiday.
The farm is currently home to one turkey, more than 20 breeds of chickens, five breeds of ducks, a mini mule, mini horses, donkeys, alpacas, sheep and goats.
“They're a lot more like pets than livestock,” Forrest said.
Every animal has a name and different personality, Jennifer added.
In addition to animal interaction, Heavenly Acres has a small orchard. Forrest said they're planning to expand it to offer apple picking.
“Two apple trees have been donated,” Jennifer said. “We bought a peach tree, plum, hazelnut, walnut, cherry and pear trees, black raspberries, blueberries, and are starting to grow grapes. There are plenty of mulberry trees.”
Forrest added, “We try to plant something new every year.”
The farm is also growing its tourist options.
In addition to farm tours and activities, Heavenly Acres now offers farm stays where guests can camp by the creek or stay in a cottage.
“I was researching and found Farm Stay U.S. and thought that would be kind of cool and add to our farm tours,” Jennifer said. “The purpose is to get away from things and enjoy the animals, scenery, sounds and interact with each other. Parents are so busy trying to take care of everything. Children are on devices and when they get out here, they aren’t. They talk.”
The cottage features two bedrooms, a living room, full bathroom, refrigerator, microwave and griddle. Up to six people can be accommodated in the cottage.
“Farm stay is the next level farm tour,” Forrest said. "Guests can learn and join in our daily tasks if they choose, including spinning, how to take care of animals, hay experiences, making dryer balls, things people are not normally exposed to."
The creek campsite has two designated sites that could fit up to four tents with a fire pit.
“We're trying to show God’s love by giving people some exposure and bringing families together,” Jennifer said.
Forrest added, “He has blessed us with this (the farm). We are just trying to bless other people.”
The farm is open year-round from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.
It's at 8241 W. Indiana 32, Thorntown.
For more information about Heavenly Acres, call 317-294-7341 or visit the website at https://heavenlyacresfarm.net/.