Tuesday, July 28, 2009

"Utterly" Interesting.....

Back about 25 years ago, when my parents were 'knee deep" in the art of farming, they had become friends with another couple who shared in their interest of small scale farming. On our family farm there were a few cows (to us kids, they were more like pets with affectionate names like milky, agness and cookie), some pigs, turkeys and at one point a lamb. The other couple also had a similar sized farm with cows, but in a much more common farming area with fantastic views out their back yard of fields and green rolling hills of corn that seemed to go on forever. they were two young couples with young families and a lot in common. They had 3 children, their oldest was a boy about 4 years younger than me. I can vividly remember him being a farming fanatic. He and his father lived and breathed their farm. At one of the get togethers, I believe I was around 7 yrs old and He (Danny) must have been about 3 or 4, I was entertaining him by playing farm with him. he had stood the couch cushions up as a fence, and I became the "cow" on his farm. When I didn't want to play anymore, and started to exit the "gate" ,......I was scolded and told to "GET BACK IN THAT MILK'N PARLOR!!!! even back then, Danny's life long dream was to own his very own dairy farm.

Over the years our families lost touch, his parents got divorced, They sold their farm, and ours became the "family farm" without animals, just the seasonal Garden. Sure, now and then we would run into them and hear about a graduation, or a wedding. Then a few years ago, we heard that Dan had sure enough, started his own dairy farm. It has been a couple years now, that we have been wanting to plan a trip back over to those green acres to check out this Dairy Farm. Corin ran into his mother in town last week, and word of Danny's farm was mentioned again - on Sunday, Corin and I decided to take the kids on a little field trip......we were off to Argyle (farm country) to check out the "Ridgeview Dairy farm" - and hopefully catch up with Farmer Dan. The last time I had seen Dan - he was about the size of my son.
We arrived at the farm about 12:30. there was no one around for a while, so we poked around - peered in some windows and chatted with the friendly Dog. After a while, Dan's Girlfriend greeted us and lead us into the barn. The main barn - where all the action is. It was the "milking Parlor"! the kids were so excited! each cow had a tag on their ear with a name. We first met Sassy and Mystic. Then we were quickly distracted to the corner where the kids fell in love with tiny chickens.

We were quickly given a condensed lesson on the workings of the farm. believe it or not, these cows stay right where they are to be milked. here is "Farmer Dan" holding up the apparatus that gets put on the cow's utters for milking..... then the milk travels through a maze of pipes and into this huge barrel. Every other day, these 65 or so cows give farmer Dan 7,000 gallons of their milk!!! can you imagine? he then sells the milk to a co-op and somewhere after that, the milk becomes what my children cherish before bed.

After our milking lesson, we mozied on out of the barn into the area where the baby cows are kept. This little cow, who's name is SQUIRT, was simply adorable. And she just loved the attention from the kids. at one point, she even tried sucking on kerrigan's fingers. "eewwww".
Farmer Dan had to get going at this point. He was running behind on chores that needed to be done - he was heading off to load up a few more cows to bring back to the barn, and he needed to be back in time for the 4:30 milking. I felt a little guilty for dropping in on this busy farm. Should we have set aside a more convenient time for him? - truth is, I don't think there is a more convenient, or less busy time for him. He works extremely hard, but he is loving every minute of it. I'm so glad we finally got to see Dan's Farm, and by the excitement in the kids - I'd say it is worth another trip back there soon. Perhaps we could time it just right to where we catch them at milking time.

3 comments:

Tracey - Just Another Mommy Blog said...

What a fun field trip! I have an old school friend who runs a pig farm. I might call him and see if he runs field trips for my cub scouts...

Jennifer W said...

Totally cool. I would have liked that calf.

Momma@Live. Laugh. Pull your hair out said...

I love the cow tongue picture! My grandparents used to run a huge dairy farm and I am so sad that my kids dont get to experience everything that goes along with it.....