Yesterday I went with Va’s Adventurer Club to the Miller Farm. This is a working dairy farm in Vermont, and the conference Adventurer leadership team had a full day planned.
We brought two refugee girls with us – one from the Sudan, and the other from Burundi. There were other kids from our club there too, but they came with other adults.
Beth is too old for Adventurers now, but we wanted her to come with us anyhow. She was not the only Pathfinder-aged kid there either. She didn’t want to participate in the “kiddie” things, so she found a barn cat and played with that pretty much the whole time we were there. I think she enjoyed herself.
Of course no trip to a farm is complete without a hayride, so we had one of those.
I was amazed when our host threaded the tractor and wagon through an S-curve made by a barn and an outbuilding. Pretty sure I would have snagged a post and brought the barn to the ground if I had tried that, but he did it masterfully.
They had a half dozen goats on the farm, but the main focus was clearly on the dairy cows. This one tried to eat my pants, but I wasn’t having any of that.
They showed the kids (err… children) how to milk one of the goats, and several of them tried their hand at that – and most were successful. Va gave it a shot too.
They also let them hand milk one of the cows. Va tried that too and said the cow was a lot easier to milk than the goat was.
That surprised me, but I guess it shouldn’t have.
They told the kids that if they wanted to be farmers, they would have to get in shape. So it was exercise time!
In addition to these push-ups, they also did some chin-ups. Then it was off to a field to sow some grass. This is where I tell you that the farm abuts the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power plant. Really. See the power transmission lines?
Both the state and the power plant test the water and milk at this farm on a regular (and frequent) basis. I don’t know if that would make me feel better or worse if I lived there.
The kids sowed the seeds a little… unevenly.
With that job done, it was time for more fun. The kids got to bob for apples.
As an added bonus, one of the cows calved while we were there.
Ewww! When that was done I turned to one of my friends and remarked that this was just as repulsive in cattle as it is in humans. He agreed!
It wasn’t too long after that that it was time to milk the herd. I think this is my favorite shot of the day:
Beth abandoned the cat and came with us to see that.
We left pretty soon after that. It was a two-hour drive back to Concord, and Jonathan and David met us there for dinner. Then I took Jonathan back to UNH, and finally got home around 9:30pm. I was pretty tired. It was a long, but interesting day!