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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Open barn

First things first, you say "free ice cream" and I'll be there. A local dairy farm had their version of a show-and-tell just the other day, they called it an "open barn". I thought it was such a cool idea and they were offering up free ice cream...so...

More importantly, not many people who pick up their weekly gallon of milk at the supermarket have the opportunity to get up close and personal with the ladies responsible for making it, so I thought it would be nice to feature them here.







































The life of a cow in big dairy is not really a glamorous one - you have your babies, they get sent to a calving hut, and you get milked regularly to be sure you don't dry up. Right, wrong, or indifferent - if you are buying your milk from a supermarket in the US, it is likely coming from a farm similar to this. These ladies are as happy as they come though. They have access to clean hay, water, and really adorable rotating back-scratchers (and if I've learned anything about the lambs, animals like to scratch up against ANYTHING!)

This farm has 64 calving huts that were all full during the open house. We gave all the babies some good scratches on the head and they suckled our fingers, a little disappointed to find that there wasn't any milk coming out. The calving huts were all very clean, the floors all covered with pine shavings.






I was really intrigued by the open barn. These folks are proud of their farm, their facility, and their contribution to the local economy. Everything is clean and well maintained and if you have ever taken care of farm animals, you know that's no easy task on something of this scale.

We've been drinking raw milk lately, so we have been picking it up from a small farm down the road, but the whole set up of this family-owned, large scale dairy farm was really something to see. The afternoon had me brainstorming about more farm tours and "open barns" to feature here. Where do you buy your milk from? Are you knowledgeable or familiar with how the animals are treated?

And in case you are wondering...I had chocolate ice cream.

12 comments:

  1. Firstly, thank you so much for your thoughtful comment about weddings. Its a tough balance to find what you really want (and can afford!) when you are bombarded with what everyone expects. It was nice to hear that a loving, casual ceremony can be such a hit!

    Not onto milk! A friend's family owns a large scale dairy farm and it is sad to see the babies being taken away from their moms. As unnatural as it seems they are taken care of extremely well though as you said. They sell their milk to Dairyland which is the brand we buy at the store. There doesn;t seem to be many alternatives for milk in these parts.

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    1. You are welcome! Thank you for letting me play the obnoxious wedding-advice giver role :) I think you are going to have a beautiful day. That's too bad to hear that you don't have too many options for dairy, but nice that you know one of the family farms!

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  2. they are so cute! and the colors look so beautiful, new england is the best this time of year

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    1. This fall has been even more spectacular! Not sure if it was the early frost or what, but the colors are so bright this year!

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  3. What beautiful photos! [I love calves! Too cute!]

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  4. Very interesting, sounds like a good day out!

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  5. Yum- love me some ice cream! We buy the raw milk also from a little farm, it's so good! The kids had store bought milk recently, which they hadn't ever tried, and refused to drink it:)

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    1. I love to hear that :) Your kiddos have good taste!

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  6. Aw how cute are these guys! I don't really drink milk sadly, but I would happily taste fresh ice cream as you have described here!

    xo

    Michaela

    http://michaelajeanblog.com

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  7. Great choice on the chocolate ice cream! A day spent with animals and eating ice cream is a good day in my book!

    Meghan
    www.fancypantsandsugarshacks.com

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    1. Hey Meghan! Didn't know if this farm may look familiar to you :) It's on the NH side though. Hope you are enjoying this gorgeous fall we are having!

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  8. mmm chocolate ice cream. What a great idea Open Barn, I would of loved to see a dairy farm of that scale. I love that you too look at how the animals are kept, I do this when ever I go to others farms. Animal up keep is super important. I only have chooks at the minute, they live in a palace that I continually am upgrading to ensure hygiene is key. I too am contemplating on doing a farm tour soon, just of our veggie patch. So many folks want to see how veggies are grown too.

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