Patches Dairy Farm

Our local Homeschool Group took a field trip to the Patches Family Dairy Farm last week to see how milk is bottled and ice cream is made. We missed the actual milking of the cows because said milking is reportedly done at the crack of dawn and good luck getting we homeschoolers much of anywhere before 9 am.

This was fairly straightforward - the kids got to see them bottle the milk:

help make the ice cream:

and finally eat the ice cream:

We also got to see the chocolate milk being made, go into the ice cream freezer, and eat lots of ice cream at the end. After the park, we ended up going back to buy a few quarts of ice cream, some milk, and some yougurt. Since Patches Farm is so close to the park where we meet every Friday, this will probably become a regular weekly stop for us while we live in the area.

The best part of this was to see that the dairy farm was truly run by the Patches family. There were kids Brennan and Richard's age working the ice cream counter by themselves, helping with the machines in back, stocking the freezers, etc. They seemed very happy with their responsibilities, and it was another reminder to me that that we too often under-estimate what the boys are capable of at their age. Trips like this spur me to keep them working with us to make meals, take over household chores, let them pump gas, and let them help at the grocery and farmer's market checkout.

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