Since I've already milked this trip to Wisconsin for so many blog posts this week, I thought perhaps I could be forgiven for concluding with one non-tea-related post about my tour of a small, family-run dairy farm near Green Bay. (Besides, lots of us add milk to our tea, so it could be argued that this is semi-related to tea!) I felt very blessed we got a personal tour thanks to friends of friends.
That's my husband Alex at right talking to the owner of the farm about his dairy operation.
It was a pretty warm day by Wisconsin standards, so I was surprised when we got in the barn to find that the cows were actually enjoying cooler temperatures than we were! I didn't ask what sort of cooling system is in place, but it's nice to know the cows are treated well. (My husband learned that when the cows go back out into the pastures after the evening milking, there is actually sand spread out to help give them a cooler place to sleep, which I found interesting since I've never given much thought to cow comfort.) Also, although I'd made a point to wear shoes that could be washed off, I was very surprised at how clean this barn was! There is a system in place that helps automatically clear out the, um, "debris" left by the cows, so that helps a lot.
The calf at left had just been born overnight!
Wisconsin certainly has more silos than I've ever seen before, and it boggles my mind to imagine how much corn is contained in the silos. Here is some corn after it's been processed a bit.
And here is my little group of family and friends in front of the silos. Now while this is a small operation, I was most struck by how labor-intensive the work is. The family milks the cows at the same time early morning and early evening, seven days a week, rain or shine or snow or what have you. They get to take a half-day off every once in a while thanks to friends who offer to come in and milk the cows for them. This family farm has been in operation for three generations so far, and it was wonderful to see and hear of their obvious love for what they do. I think I was most struck by what a commitment it is to have a dairy farm. And as someone who loves her milk and cheese, I'm quite grateful!
Naturally, I had to snap a few flower photos, too. I thought this storage shed was simply charming!
The lady of the farm tells me this purple flower is some sort of perennial but she doesn't know what it is. Any ideas?
Aren't these lilies lovely?
I think they blend well with the classic red of this wonderful Wisconsin barn. And that wraps up my visit to dairy country, so thanks for coming along this week!