One of the nice things about where we moved to almost one year ago is that you can drive about 20 minutes to a beautiful organic dairy farm that's not only open to the public, but has a cafe with fresh ice cream and yogurt that's open every day, and a weekly organic farmer's market. Mimi and I took Locke and Lola there when she came to visit recently.
We drove out one Friday afternoon, hoping the kids would nap in the car on the way. Instead they peered out the windows, pointing at trees, barns, houses, and birds, and calling everything "duck", because that's the word they've chosen for everything from ducks to buildings to abstract mathmatical equations.
When we arrived, we were told to make ourselves at home and feel free to wander around to the barn and chicken coup, and that the cows would be parading in to be milked at 4pm.
We had a little time so we strolled around to the chicken coup, which was the biggest hit with Lola and Locke. Lola was a little cautious, standing a respectable distance from the groups of birds, pointing, and saying "duck, duck, duck." She did, at one point, try to take off with their water feeder but realized it was a bit large to carry around the farm, so she left it for their further use.
Locke was, not too surprisingly, a little more emboldened. He squealed with delight at the multitudes of pecking chickens. He would get right up in their faces, pointing and (taking Lola's lead) calling them ducks. I guess chickens have been called worse because they tolerated his advances fairly well. Only when he'd run up quickly upon them would they scatter. But he was relentless in his pursuit. Every time I tried to take a picture of Mimi and Lola, I'd have to run after Locke, who would be running toward a large piece of farm equipment or a ravine, chasing a chicken.
After wrestling them away from the chickens, we took Lola and Locke into the cafe for a refreshing cup of fruity yogurt. It's more liquidy than most store-bought yogurts so it's served in cups with straws. Locke and Lola had never used straws before, but got the hang of it very quickly. We sat inside, near the windows overlooking the farm, sipping our yummy yogurt and enjoying the cool breeze.
When we finished, we walked down to the barn, where the cows were just walking in to be milked. The attendant washed each one's underside and hooked milking pumps on their utters. Within seconds, the milk was pouring into giant bottles. As we watched this with the twins, all I could think about was the first few months of Lola's and Locke's lives, when I had to pump after every breastfeeding to keep up my milk production enough to continue to breastfeed twins. I wondered if the cows were as bored as I was, hooked up and unable to move while that precious liquid flowed into the holding containers. At least I was able to read or talk on the phone while I pumped. But what I really wanted was to be holding either Lola or Locke. I wondered if the cow was wishing she was feeding her calf instead of countless human kids whose moms buy her home farm's label. It was all a little too personal for me. But Locke and Lola seemed to enjoy it.
After the milking, we stopped back by the cafe for a taste of their homemade ice cream. It was Lola and Locke's first ice cream experience and it appeared to be something they wouldn't mind trying again. Like, maybe every day.
After the ice cream we strolled through the farmer's market on our way to the car.
I could get used to a place like this. Although I've always considered myself a downtown girl, there's certainly something to love about a beautiful place in the country. And since we live in an urban area, with no backyard for Lola and Locke, I'm glad I have places like this to take them, so they can get a feel for the country and experience nature at its best.