One of our home school groups took a field trip to the last remaining dairy farm in Greenville County. Happy Cow Creamery is a local family owned dairy that has remained successful in today's corporate world of farming. I have been wanting to take the children there for a while, so we jumped at the opportunity to visit and do the tour.
The children had never been on a working farm before. I have taken them to zoos, petting zoos, horseback riding and the like. However, a trip to a dairy farm was a new experience.
We arrived at the farm and of course, the noticeable smell of farm life was prevalent. Luckily, my children aren't bothered by the smell that livestock create. In fact, they like the farm smell and didn't complain one bit. Oh, how they take after me!
We had a large group of children and adults. Ages ranged from infants to teens. The tour operators are more accustomed to giving tours to younger elementary aged children. However, the diversity of our group was not an issue.
Our group was split into two smaller groups. Half went on the tractor tour of the farm and the other went on the operational tour. Then we switched.
We learned about the type of cows and how they are cared for on the farm. The tour operator told us about the struggles of Farmer Tom and how he just happened to 'fall' into dairy farming. We got to see inside the milking room and were shown how the cows were milked. The children were definitely intrigued. Egee decided it was much easier to milk the cow with the machine instead of by hand.
Before switching to the tractor tour, everyone was treated to Happy Cow milk. Each child was given a small cup and a sample of milk was given. Everyone was eager to try it, but as the children began to drink the milk their faces began to pucker. The tour guide was perplexed. Then she realized instead of pouring plain white milk for the children, she had mistakenly given them buttermilk! A quick correction was made and white milk was given. The children's faces brightened and praise over the milk began. Everyone sampled white, chocolate, and strawberry milk flavors.
After the taste testing, we loaded onto the tractor tour. We saw small parts of the farm during this tour. The guide explained to us how the farm is actually called Twelve Aprils Farm. This is do to the ability to grow alfalfa almost year round for the cows to consume. We learned more about the operation of the farm during the tour.
After the tour, we ventured into the farm store and purchased ice cream made at the creamery. The ice cream was very rich! I wish we lived closer to this dairy! Luckily, the milk is carried in a few local spots convenient to our house. The cost of the milk may be a bit more than the giant corporation brands, but knowing that our purchase helps a local farm is well worth the price. Plus, we know what is in this milk!