I miss vacation. I repeat, I miss vacation. Yeah, I know...duh, right?! But somehow, someway, I feel better after writing it. Now...to reminisce some more about our fabulous vacation.
Although everyone is always ecstatic the first day of vacation, my favorite is vacation day two. I love waking up on the second day of vacation thinking..."Oh, this isn't a dream. I really don't have to work today. YES!" Day one is almost always a hectic travel day. "Did we forget anything?" or "It doesn't all fit in the bag, the car or the overhead compartment of the plane,"...blah blah blah. But day two is the first REAL day, the first full day of relaxation and fun.
Although our second day of vacation did involve some travel time from New Hampshire to Vermont, it was relaxing and well worth it. On Wednesday of last week, we departed North Conway and headed west for Tunbridge, Vermont. Tunbridge is a quaint little town located almost smack dab in the middle of Vermont. Close your eyes and imagine no cell reception for miles, farms often lining both sides of the road, beautiful picturesque mountain views and grass growing in the cracks of the road. This is Tunbridge. We couldn't seem to find the right road to the right farm. Our GPS, you may remember 'Her' (Theresa?), could not have been more inaccurate. But with a little faith, persistence and whining from MaineGirl and MaineBaby...we finally arrived at The Farmstead at Falls Hill, an organic dairy farm that supplies milk to Horizon Organics, formerly The Organic Cow.
I am a huge supporter of local farming, small business and green/organic products...so when we were offered to tour one of the 100 New England farms that provide milk to Horizon, I was ecstatic. It would provide MaineGirl an opportunity to learn how milk makes its way from the farm to the table. (Well that and I knew she would love a chance to cuddle up to this season's baby calves). Although there are dozens of dairy farms within driving distance of home, we were particularly interested in learning about organic dairy farming methods.
Upon arriving at the farm we were greeted by the Horizon Marketing team and the Thygesen family. Kyle and Jen Thygesen, (and of course their fabulously adorable son Keenan), manage The Farmstead at Falls Hill in Tunbridge, Vermont. As fourth generation family farmers and a very strong business background, the Thygesen family farm was the perfect fit for the organic market.
What did we learn?
- The Falls Hill farm utilizes intensive rotational grazing to provide the highest quality forages for their animals during the growing season.
- Proactive animal care is a crucial aspect of organic production and the Thygesens are genuinely interested in the well being of their cows. As Kyle so eloquently stated, if we wouldn't eat it, drink it, or do it...why should we expect them to?
- The young calves were happy, spunky and loving their little hutches...and MaineGirl was LOVING them.
- Cows like cool temps. All 45 fully matured cows were inside, hiding from the heat.Fans kept the indoor temperature closer to a comfortable 70-75 degrees, while outside it was a sweltering 85 degrees plus. The cows were visibly comfortable and content...chewing on their hay while carefully keeping an eye on MaineGirl at all times.
- Keenan, Kyle and Jen’s son, was a wealth of knowledge. He quickly rattled off the names of cows’ four stomachs (Reticulum, Rumen, Omasum, Abomasum…couldn’t let Keenan out-do us!), and proudly introduced us to his chickens and turkeys.
- This organic family farm was super clean and tidy...and smelled like the outdoors, NOT at all like your typical dairy farm.
- Horizon Organic milk (especially chocolate, which has lowered sugar levels...thank you for this!!!) tastes AMAZING!
- Old cows are nice to pet. Thanks Kyle for letting MaineGirl show Snoopy a little love. Happy belated 17thbirthday Snoopy!
- MaineGirl and MaineBaby felt right at home on the farm. In fact, on the way home MaineGirl informed her father and I that she was going to grow up to be a cow vet.
Hey MaineGirl, you go for it girl! I’ll keep the Thygesens contact information on hand just in case! In the interim, its Horizon Organic dairy products for this family.
Thank you so much to the Horizon Organic team and the Thygesen family for hosting us. We had a wonderful time!