The Jersey Barnyard
It was around 8am when we found ourselves hitting the road heading toward the charming town of La Grange, Texas. The destination for our road trip this time was The Jersey Barnyard, a 100 year old four generation farm owned by the Frerichs family. After cruising about 1.5 hours along beautiful tree lined roads and past flowing rivers of scenery in South Central Texas, we arrived at the driveway entrance of the Jersey Barnyard.
It wasn't busy since we chose to come during a weekday to avoid the crowd. As we parked, the first greeters I spotted were an undisturbed donkey and a curious pony. We walked past them to the farm store to pay for the farm tour. At 10:30 Terra (she goes by "T"), our tour guide, came to us with a bucket of food and a bottle of milk.
T led us to visit an attractive and gigantic longhorn. Obviously, he must be hungry with the fact that he rushed to us effortlessly. We watched T feeding him without asking her if we could do the same thing. I think she could read our minds that we prefered to skip this one. It was my first time seeing a real longhorn this close. It was a little bit intimidating to try to create the first impression by feeding him, so I just enjoyed watching and taking pictures.
The Jersey Barnyard specializes in dairy, but they also have a wide variety of animals; hogs, sheep, rabbits, ducks, turkey, goats, guineafowl, calves and chicken, for people to enjoy while visiting. We fed these craving animals along the way to the calf area. There were three calves in the front row. T asked which one I wanted to feed. I had an eye on the one with beautiful big eyes which were staring at me. He had an underbite which made him look special. I squatted down to feed him with the baby bottle T prepared. Just a blink of an eye the milk was gone. I should have paid for two bottles when T asked me at the store.
We finished up visiting and feeding the animals. Next we moved on to the most exciting part; milking a cow. The dairy barn is located way in the back of a 740-acre pasture. T asked us if we wanted to ride on a hayride or on a golf cart. "Golf cart," Brad answered. I was a little bit disappointed since I have looked up on their website and hayride is what I was looking forward to do. Call me a city person. A Bangkoker like me doesn't have a chance to do these things. However, I understand though. Since it was just two of us, it economically made more sense to just go in a golf cart than a hayride which can fit 10-15 people.
We hopped on the golf cart. Entering the pathway leading to the dairy barn there is a hay bale decorated in a piggy shape to welcome visitors. As we travelled through the pasture there were many cows hanging out. As our golf cart drove past, they mooed and followed us expected some treats. They seemed to be upset at us once they figured out that we passed by with empty hands.
After riding for a while, we approached the dairy barn where they milk about a hundred cows twice a day. We were amazed that so much work was accomplished each day in a small building. T parked the golf cart and told us to wait while she went to find a cow for us to milk. A few minutes later she came back with a beautiful cow, Little Peanut. T said they named her after her mother, Peanut.
T explained how milk a cow. It sounded easy and simple enough; wrap a hand around a teat then squeeze the teat while pulling down. T demonstrated a couple times now it was my turn. I squatted down next to Little Peanut's udder then the reality kicked in that I was so close to her hind legs. I wondered if I squeeze too hard, would she let me know by kicking me?
However, this was a moment I had been waiting for. So I had to do it and I wanted to do it. I was pretty confident that the milk would flow out just like T showed me. First squeeze, second squeeze still nothing came out. T repeated the instructions. I held my breathe and pulled Little Peanut's teat for the third time, couple drops of milk came out. T and Brad giggled, and I called it a day.
Before we hopped back to the golf cart, we snapped a picture with little Peanut for our memory of her generosity that she didin't kick me. Then we headed back to the farm store. At the store, we found 100% raw grass-fed Jersey cow milk, pastured chicken eggs, creme fraiche. It was a fullfilling road trip to La Grange. If you are looking for a short trip for the weekends, consider driving to La Grange to have a wonderful time at the Jersey Barnyard.