As part of our commitment to eating local, we've been searching for a new creamery. The one we were using—though mostly we just bought from the grocery store—recently lost its two biggest contracts to Organic Valley, taking its 25 mile radius all the way out to Lancaster. We'd known of a local on-site creamery for a while, but had heard mixed reviews, so we decided to head down and check it out for ourselves.
The kids were immediately enamored with the place, though they were surprised by the machine milking. I guess they'd pictured cows being milked by hand in the same way I'd been milking our goat every morning, and why not? Machine milking isn't exactly intuitive. But then, when one considers how many cows need to be milked twice a day at even a small dairy, machine milking becomes far more obvious a necessity!
We hung out for quite a while so we'd be able to help with the calf milking, which was hugely fun. We played on a giant straw playground they call "Hay Mountain," ate fresh ice cream, and talked briefly with several folks who live and work there. By the end of the day, the kids were begging to let this "please be our creamery!" Talk about buy-in! So, we've found a new creamery that the kids love to visit, making the 50 mile round-trip far more doable, and what's even better is that we can set up delivery for the cold, wet, dark winter and visit only when we want, as I imagine the creamery will lose a bit of its appeal in the coming months. But, then we'll be able to head down again in the spring for calving season, and what fun that will be!