Did you know that just outside of Asheville lies a four-acre oasis for animal lovers? Our Tiny Farm, located in nearby Etowah (~35 miles west of town) boasts one of WNC’s only mini donkey farms. We recently visited these enormously adorable, funny + affectionate miniature critters and left feeling invigorated and entertained.
How it works:
Prospective visitors need to contact Our Tiny Farm via its website. Owners Jeanine Davis and her husband Glen will reply, set up a time for you to visit, and send along details on how to get to their spot. There is a suggested donation of $10 to enter and visit.
Pro tip: Wear clothes you don’t mind getting dirty and closed toed shoes. Once you arrive, be aware that you’re at a real farm, which means lots of poop — and plenty of chances to accidentally step in it.
The two will walk you into the pasture and introduce you to their six resident mini donkeys. You can feed them snacks, watch them play, and pet them. Jeanine and Glen also share facts about the animals — in addition to being a farmer, Jeanine is also an associate professor + extension specialist in the Department of Horticultural Science at North Carolina State University, which makes for a fascinating and informative chat.
In addition to filling our hearts with joy, we learned that contrary to popular opinion, mini donkeys are not a bred-down version of a larger donkey — their small size is natural. They stand no taller than 36 inches and weigh between 200–400 pounds.
Their affable, social nature makes them great companion animals — plus their life expectancy can be as long as 35 years. After experiencing how much joy mini donkeys bring, Jeanine is looking into future therapeutic opportunities for visitors, which we think sounds amazing.