Our ramble about took us across, over and through various townships of the verdant Vermont countryside until we finally snaked down an off-beat, bumpy road and arrived at Twig Farm in West Cornwall.
We were there to visit the goats. And eat the cheese and watch people far more industrious than us do farm things.
Look! Goats! Here they are, coming in from a long day grazing in the pasture, arriving for their evening milking time.
That's Ester. I think she's smiling at me.
The farm keeps ducks, too. Although the foxes have apparently been on the prowl this year and far fewer ducks are left than should be.
While the goats were prepped for milking, we toured the cheese room. It was a sterile area, so we had to take off our shoes (although considering the way my feet attract dirt, I don't know how much good this did).
The cheese all happens here. It's a pretty small and barren room. The whole process seems far less complicated that I thought it would be.
It made me think...I could do this...
Of course, it would take some practice to get the hang of the milking bits.
This is where goat cheese comes from. Those are some seriously full goat udders.
While the milking happened behind...
...the girls happily munched on their afternoon snack ~ buckets of fresh granola.
And from these beginnings come the cheeses.
You can click over to the Twig site cheese pageto read more details about the varieties, if you'd like. The square Tomme on the left was my favorite of the three!
After a taste (or three...or four...) we visited the sweet doe pen. This is where they keep the baby girls.
These "adolescents" were napping in the shade...
But one darling perked up for visitors.
She and I had a little bonding session (my fingers taste good; her tongue was velvet!) until a random electrical shock between us ended that experiment.
That is one confused little goat! But I imagine that an electrical shock to the tongue would throw anyone off their game. The twinge to my hand gave me a moment of pause as well. Sorry, goatling!
The boy goats were down the hill and we found them to be more, shall we say, rough around the edges than the does. There were a lot of bodily functions going on in that pen!
Ben stepped up for some male bonding (not nearly as "shocking" as my experience, luckily).
And then we were down the hill, past the holding area where the girls waited to be milked...
...and with a last goodbye, we left the goats and took to the country roads (and the hand sanitizer) once again.
If you find yourself in Vermont, I highly recommend a visit to Twig Farm, either on your own or with a tour. The staff and owners are very welcoming and the place is completely child-friendly ~ on that hot day, they'd even set up a kiddy pool for the little ones to enjoy a splash while frolicking!
They are happy to show you through the process of cheese-making and goat-raising. You can visit the grazing fields if you wish or just watch what goes on from the barns. The baby goats are great with kids (they are kids themselves after all. Right?)
Twig Farm is affiliated with some cheese tours, but you can also call ahead or check the website for opportunities to visit during an Open House. And you can buy some excellent cheese there to take home with you!