Surely you must be as tired of reading about the poor weather here as we are of experiencing it. When the leaf peeping is problematic, it's always fun to tour factories, especially those that produce good things to eat. We drove back into Vermont to the Cabot Creamery, a dairy cooperative which specializes in cheddar cheese, but also has a full line of other dairy products. We drove past idyllic farms with black and white cows munching away in the green fields as the hillsides burned above them with red, gold, and orange foliage. Unfortunately, no photos were taken during this time, because it was hailing. Cabot was remarkably open and hospitable. While we waiting for the tour to begin, we sampled from at least 15 different flavors of cheese. Of course, this was wise on their part. Our three favorite flavors now have a place of honor in the fridge. Some tours we have been on are very strict. You must stay in single file, wear a hard hat and safety glasses. No photos can be taken. Here men wheeling cases of cheese wove between us and we could linger and ask questions as long as we wished. Cabot has been in existence over 100 years and allows the farmers in the coop to farm as they see fit. Each farm has an equal share in the coop when it comes to establishing policies, but farmers are paid according to how much milk they produce.
Next we joined every other tourist in New England at Ben & Jerry's. They run an efficient operation that moves the herds of tourist through, but no photos can be taken. The culminating experience is taste testing the latest flavor. We enjoyed yellow cake batter laced with chocolate frosting flavored ice cream. Yum Yum! For those who wanted more, a dairy bar was also open. The piece d'resistance was a sundae that cost $34 and was the size of a small garbage can.
Last we visited a farm stand that specializes in pressing apples into juice. This was very labor intensive. The apples are mashed into a slurry and poured into trays lined with cloth. As the layers of slurry got deeper and deeper the juice poured out. The left over bits of apple and peel are fed to animals. Of course, this farm stand also sold apple doughnuts and other Vermont products like maple syrup.
Hope the weather clears up soon or we'll be coming home ten pounds heavier.