Today, rather than celebrating Halloween with you, I would like to celebrate the final day of National Cheese Month by telling you about Liberty Hill Farm, where we spent two wonderful nights a couple of weeks ago!
Liberty Hill is situated on the edge of the Green Mountain National Forest near Rochester, Vermont. It's surrounded by lush mountains which, when we visited, were tinged red and gold. We arrived in the late afternoon and were welcomed by Beth's warm smile and the delicious aroma wafting from the kitchen. While we ate dinner in the cozy dining room, Beth shared some of the farm's history with us.
The farm was founded in 1780 by John Emerson. Bob and Beth Kennett purchased it in 1979, and have been taking in guests since 1984. You could say they were pioneers of the now-popular agritourism industry! They raised two sons--David and Tom--who went off to college, then returned to the farm to work and live with their growing families. Bob and Beth both come from old farming families - Beth's ancestors starting farming in Maine in 1641, and Bob's in New Hampshire in 1742.
The inn is clean, homey, and deliciously quiet, especially to our noise-conditioned city-mouse ears. It really felt more like we were staying with extended family. In the morning, we awoke to a pink sunrise over Rochester Mountain. After a delicious hearty breakfast, we borrowed some of the rubber boots that are kept on the front porch for guests and started exploring.
Liberty Hill Farm is a member of the Cabot Co-operative. Every morning before dawn, a truck comes to pick up the milk. I was amazed at the volume of milk the farm produces every day - each cow produces about 60 pounds per milking, and they milk about 100 cows twice a day. That translates into 12,000 pounds, or about 1500 gallons every single day! 100% of Cabot's profits go directly back to Vermont family farms. Many of their products are only available locally or online, but you can get their Cheddar in the fancy-cheese aisle at most grocery stores and Costco. And their butter is the best I've ever tasted - the second night at dinner, I ate extra bread just so that I could eat extra butter.
Kitten on the prowl! They have tons of barn cats who just wander around. This one was so teeny!
This calf was only about a week old! The little ones (about a month old or younger) all have their own little calf pens, and they get fed a calf formula (cheaper and more consistent nutritionally than milk) twice a day. When they hear the food coming, they all start mooing like crazy! I got to help a little by putting the buckets of formula into their little calf-house windows.
We had a wonderful time, and I can't wait to come back with our kids someday.