I’m not sure it is possible to separate the story of our farm from ice cream. Ice cream is the fuel that powers our farm. It is the treat of choice for brainstorming sessions and hard conversations. It is dinner at the end of a hot day filled with field work and chores. It is the sweetener we add to our coffee during morning milking. (If you haven’t tried ice cream in your coffee, step away from your computer, pour yourself a cup, scoop in some ice cream, and try it right now!) It is the midday snack when it is too hot to eat, but we need to refuel our bodies. Ice cream is our deep exhale at the end of the day before we crawl into bed. Ice cream is the glue that holds our farm together.
Four years ago we made the decision to pursue our farm over a meandering conversation and some ice cream at Caz pizza. We had just finished looking at another farm and on the drive home we stumbled across the farm that eventually became ours. Our farm wasn’t an obvious choice; the land was steep, the barns not ideally suited for dairy, and the fields bore the signs of decades of neglect, but the farm radiated potential and hope. We lingered over our ice cream that evening, planning and plotting. Pastures 1, 2, and 3 got names that day, as did “the field by the road”, “the field at the end of the road”, and “the field at the top of the hill”. The beginning ideas of our crop rotation, long term improvements, and growth objectives came together over a placemat slightly stained with tomato sauce from a wayward calzone and Mint Chocolate Chip drips.
As all big decisions do, the choice to buy our farm took time -- there were lenders to talk to, family to consult, and offers to be negotiated. But the decision started over ice cream. The decisions to rebuild after our barn fire, expand our farm during a downturn in milk prices, and continue to farm in the face of continually declining milk prices have all been made over ice cream. So as we celebrate ice cream, we also celebrate our story and journey to dairy farming.
Interested in how other farmer's relate to ice cream? Want some cool recipes? Check out these other posts!
Enough Ice Cream? by Farmer Bright
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Why this Ice Cream Addict has a New Addiction: Ice Cream Sandwiches by New Mexico Milkmaid
Sprinklers, Fans and Ice Cream in the Barn by Modern-day Farm Chick
Here’s the Scoop on My 5 Favorite Ice Cream Recipes by Eat Farm Love
Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal a la Mode by New Day Dairy
Gimme the Jimmies by The Deere Milkmaid
Ice Cream Month by Spotted Cow Blog
Oregon Ice Cream by Guernsey Dairy Mama
Sadie’s Homemade Ice Cream by Dairy Good Life