The kids have been out of school for a couple of weeks now, but with vacation/travel, this was our first Friday at home.
And today we kicked off our summer Field Trip Fridays with a trip to Perrydell Farm Dairy (Free self-guided tour. They do guided tours for groups of 10 or more.)!
We prepared for our field trip by checking out a few books at the library about dairy cows and dairy farms. The kids loved hearing about how a cow’s stomach has four different compartments. But they thought that chewing cud was kind of gross. We also read about how milk is processed and about all of the different products that are made out of milk. We did a little taste testing too. The kids compared whole milk to 1% milk and also tasted plain Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, sour cream, and cream cheese. Charlotte liked everything. Trenton will stick with his 1% milk.
When we got to the farm this morning, we first visited the bottling area.
We saw the workers switch from bottling half gallons to bottling gallon jugs. We also saw the pasteurizer and the homogenizer which we had learned about in our books. There was also a big vat for mixing up flavored milks!
Next we went outside and visited the baby calves.
The calf in the top two pictures was just born yesterday and was still a bit wobbly on his feet!
Next was Charlotte’s favorite part – milking a cow.
The real cows weren’t being milked while we were visiting, but we did get to step inside the milking parlor to check it out. The kids got to see how the hoses attach to pipes, the pipes go across to the next room and take the milk to the cooling tanks, and then there are more pipes taking the cooled milk to the next building over where the pasteurizing, homogenizing, and bottling is done.
We visited the big cows for a little while, but I was afraid that Evelyn would try to make a run for it and dodge under the rope to get a closer look at the cows.
Once I was able to get Evelyn away from the calves, we headed back inside to the store. We looked at all of the milk products that they make with the milk from the cows on this farm. The kids were able to tell me the difference between half & half and heavy cream. They were also able to tell me which of the non-flavored milks in the coolers had the highest fat content.
Then was the fun part. Ice cream and milk!
It was apparently so good that they all couldn’t look at Mommy and smile at the same time!
Evelyn fell asleep on the way home, but Trenton and Charlotte talked about cows the whole time we were in the car (FYI Daddy – they want some of their own!). I’d say that it was a successful Field Trip Friday! Now I’ve got to figure out what we’re doing next week!