While I was out of town this past weekend at a family reunion in Glencoe Alabama, I decided to make the best of it and go somewhere I have been wanting to take the kids. With gas prices being what they are though, it is not a trip I don't think I would have made had I not been in the area. We headed over to Alexandria, Alabama to the Wright Dairy Farm (about 20 minutes from where I was). Conveniently located in Calhoun County on U.S. 431 north of Anniston, it is the only dairy family in Alabama who milks the cows, bottles the milk and sells it to you right on the farm. We arrived and wanted to see cows. That is what there is to see at a dairy farm, right? The lady in the store told us that they were just about to finish up milking and to head next door. We did, I pushed the kids inside the opened door. At first I didn't see any cows. Then, in the distance of about 20 feet I saw about 5-6 cows with hoses hooked to utters. Or really, that was what we assumed. This was the best view we had....
We were a bit disappointed. I especially, after I had talked it up to the kids on the ride over. I had also hoped for someone that worked there to tell the kids about the milking process, but the two men that were there didn't seem as though they wanted to be bothered with city folk. Perhaps it was Sledge's fault. She was almost in tears at the stench in the milking building. Let's face it, cows poop. That's really all they do other than eat and provide food. I kept asking Sledge to suck it up and try and learn something , but at this point her hand was over her nose, her eyes watering, she burst out, "I gotta get outta here!!!" and ran out of the building. I hope that isn't a glimpse into her future parenting skills. I hope her future husband will be a good diaper changer, but by nature (and great dramatic skill) men are usually not.
And so, we looked around for some cows who utters were not hooked up to a milking device. We headed left. We found a pasture that only had babies in it. Baby cows. They were so cute. After much oohing and ahhing, we then ventured inside a barn. At first we thought there wasn't anything inside, but then, I caught a glimpse of something small and black in the corner of a stall. A newborn baby. Fresh. He still had his "sea legs". Umbilical cord still attached. He did nothing more than stand there looking helpless, as he was alone. "You know why he is alone in here don't you?" my mom asked the kids. "At the dairy farm they take the calves away from the mom's so that the mom's will still produce for the farmer. Besides that, this one is a boy. Only female calves give milk." I hadn't given it much thought. I don't even know if it's factual. But I did know that my heart broke right into a million pieces and splintered like the shavings at my feet. "Awww! That is so so sad!" I said aloud. Something motherly deep inside me then blurted out a "moooo". (I never claimed to be normal). And it was then the little black calf perked up and hollered back, "mooo" and then, stumbling clumsily over to me and put his head between the stall railings to get a look.
He thought I was momma. I reached through the stall and began to pat his head. His huge eyes looked deeply into mine, I am sure he wondered, "Are you my momma", just like that little story book goes. Again, I mooed, again he answered. (Dullbert, do not comment)
I began to pat his side. He was solid muscle, not an ounce of baby fat on him. He suddenly hopped straight up into the air and because he was not yet used to landing, or even walking for that matter, he collapsed onto his knees. He got up and again came to the fence, peering out at us.
Again, I gave him a pat and once again he tried to run around, all the while attempting to jump into the air and again falling to the ground. (speaking of running-what a run-on sentence!).
This went on for sometime. My parents, my kids and my cousin kept asking me to "Come on!" but I just was enjoying the little guys company as much as he seemed to enjoy mine. Every so often he would walk over to the device that held milk and suckle from it, only to return for more attention.
He was just precious. If I could've loaded him into my parents car I would have. But he was not so lucky-and on this occasion my husband was. I didn't come home with yet another animal. Finally, I was torn away from my little friend and went inside the gift shop. In the gift shop one can find all kinds of treats made My kids wanted ice-cream. There was about 20 flavors to choose from. My kids each chose to get chocolate cups. And the cups were pretty large.
(Could there be a dirtier kid?)
The gift shop also stocks a variety of fine Amish products, including jams, jellies, preserves, relishes, candies, fudge, and syrup, among others. They also carry old-fashioned creamy butter and cheese straight from the heart of the Amish farm communities of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and other farming states. Yes. I did say CHEESE. And you know that is exactly what I focused in on when I walked in. Just look at this.
Do you see that selection? It might not surprise you to know I bought some. I had a hard time deciding which flavor. Finally I decided on Havarti and and Baby Swiss. My cousin B-art got cheese curds. I had never tried that. It sounded disgusting, but really any cheese I would try once. Just the word curds turns my stomach. My dad got something that he readily hid from my view and never showed me again. Can you believe that? When we returned to my cousins house we broke out the cheese (with exception of my dad). The curds were white. They tasted like mozzarella. I began cutting off pieces of of my two blocks. Y-U-M! I will be going back anytime I am in the area to stock up on more.
My cousin bought a huge amount of butter. It looked to be about 3 pounds. Unless you are Paula Deen I do not know what one does with a few pounds of butter, but I will bet it is good tasting butter. I will have to ask him his intentions with that much butter. I am very curious. Getting back to the milk, which is the big draw for the farm. You might ask, What makes Wright Dairy milk different from the milk you buy in the grocery store? Only milk from the cows on Canebrake Farm at Wright Dairy is bottled and sold there. Of all of the other milk sold in Alabama, only about 20% is produced in Alabama. The other 80% is trucked in from other states, sometimes as far away as New Mexico or Wisconsin. So it is fresh. Very fresh. Wright Dairy cows are never given the growth hormone rBST, or any other artificial means of producing more milk. The cows are primarily grass-fed, and supplemented with some grain. Grass-fed cows are also cleaner, healthier, and happier, and the farm claims that it is much more environment-friendly than the typical feedlot-type dairy. The milk is pasteurized in a low-temperature batch pasteurizer and then cooled to 40 degrees or lower before it is bottled, to protect the flavor. This is different from the large industry standard of high temperature short time (HTST) or ultra-high temperature (UHT) pasteurization. Wright Dairy milk is not homogenized. Many people who think they are "lactose-intolerant" are really "homogenized milk-intolerant." Wright Dairy whole milk and buttermilk have nothing added, because nothing has been taken out. So by now, you might be craving a large glass of milk, or perhaps a big hunk of cheese-even a bowl of ice-cream, "Where might I find this dairy farm of goodness?", you might ask. Well the information is all below. My only advice, I would call before arriving and ask if they can provide a personal tour of the farm (they do not give tours to groups any longer) if you plan to take the kids for a look at a real working farm. I think it would be a more informative experience if that were the case. But if you are wanting to go for nothing more than stocking your refrigerator with dairy goodness, This is the place to come. Wright Dairy Farm, where the cream always rises to the top!
The cows are milked daily around 3-4 p.m. 241 Cane Creek Farm RoadAlexandria, Alabama 36250 Phone (256) 820-1020 Located on U.S. Highway 431 between Anniston and Gadsden. Open Monday -- Friday 9-6 CDT (summer)Open Monday -- Friday 9–5 CST (winter)Open Saturday -- 8 a.m.–5 p.m.Closed on Sundays, Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day NOW OPEN: Wright Dairy in Birmingham! Wright Dairy Ice Cream & Natural Foods, LLC R>5037 Highway 280, Suite 101 Birmingham, AL 35242 firstname.lastname@example.org Carla Manning, Owner 205-980-8844 Located on Highway 280 in the Inverness area Hand-dipped Wright Dairy Ice Cream and other Wright Dairy products For store hours & more information about the Birmingham location, visit http://www.wrightdairyicecream.com/
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Tales From Bloggeritaville
Leigh discusses home decor, thriftiness (its an art) road trips and life as a stay at home mom. Leigh is a full time mother, a part time photographer, writer and wanna-be roller derby queen/rock star. Her photography and written work is featured in several professional business and local publications. She owns her own photography business, Photographic Memories. Leigh resides in the south with her three children and husband "Big Daddy".
"Whatever you give a woman, she will make greater. If you give her sperm, she'll give you a baby. If you give her a house, she'll give you a home. If you give her groceries, she'll give you a meal. If you give her a smile, she'll give you her heart. She multiplies and enlarges what is given to her. So, if you give her any crap, be ready to receive a ton of s*&t."
Words of Wisdom
"Older and wiser voices can always help you find the right path, if you are only willing to listen."-Jimmy Buffett
Sea Joy When I go down by the sandy shore,I can think of nothing I want moreThan to live by the booming blue seaAs the seagulls flutter round about me. I can run around when the tide is outWith the wind and the sand and the sea all about,And the seagulls are swirling and diving for fish.Oh, to live by the sea is my only wish. - Jacqueline Bouvier
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream." --- Mark Twain
The cure for anything is salt water---sweat, tears, or the sea. ~Isak Dinesen
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.Philippians 4:12,13 NIV
Live a good life and in the end it's not the years in the life, it's the life in the years.~ Abe Lincoln
Let your boat of life be light Packed with only what you need --A homely home and simple pleasures,One or two friends, worth the name,Someone to love and someone to love you,A cat, a dog, and a pipe or two,Enough to eat and enough to wear,And a little more than enough to drink...For thirst is a dangerous thing. -- Jerome K Jeromefrom "Three Men in a Boat"
The love of God is like the ocean, you can see its beginnings but not its end.
"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." ~Eleanor Roosevelt
"We can make our plans,But the LORD determinesour steps" Proverbs 16:9
"Let us not forget what is best remembered or may we not remember what is best forgotten."
"Fish and overnight guest stink after three days." ~plaque at Fish Camp Restaurant, Orange Beach, Alabama
"We are not human beings having a spiritual experience, we are spiritual beings having a human being experience."
"A friend is someone who understands your past, believes in your future and accepts you today just the way you are." Proverbs 27:17
The happiest people don't have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything they have. The richest person is not the one who has the most, but the one who needs the least.
Live simply. Love generously. Care Deeply. Speak Kindly. Leave the Rest to God.
Worry is a robber of time and energy. Take comfort within that God's power is what we truly need. Heknows our needs before we can even ask for them.
If you worry, you didn't pray. If you prayed, don't worry. Faith is the ability to not panic.
Don't "find" a religion. "Find" your relationship with God. ~Bill Burgess
"Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great ones make you feel that you, too, can become great."-Mark Twain