Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Field Trip: Lavon Farms {Lucky Layla Dairy} Tour

Living in the city, it's easy to forget where our food comes from. But yesterday we had the amazing opportunity to visit a working diary farm! Tour cost was minimal, only $3 per person.

Lavon Farms produces raw milk and yogurt products from Jersey cow milk for Lucky Layla. A third generation family business, their operations have been ongoing since the 1930s. Their facility and beautiful Jersey cows were very impressive :)

In comparison to cattle raised for beef, dairy cows look much different. Dairy cows are much more slender with large udders.

The cows looked well cared for, extremely clean, and happy :)

A tour guide spoke to our homeschool group overlooking the milking area. We were able to view the cows being milked and ask questions about the process. The entire group is milked in about 20 minutes! Setup and cleanup actually take more time than the milking.

Did you know that one dairy cow can produce enough milk to feed their baby and up to three more? If you nursed a child, you know how important it is to nurse on a schedule! Likewise, dairy cows area milked twice a day - everyday - to ensure they stay healthy and don't develop mastitis or other conditions from all that milk.

Fresh milk is naturally warm. So the milk immediately heads to a cooling system. Cooling the milk prevents the growth of bad bacteria. The farm does not pasteurize their milk, so keeping the mild cold is an important part of their process. I personally don't drink cow milk at all {raw or pasteurized} because it makes me very sick! But the girls do love their cow milk :)

Because of regulations in the state of Texas, raw milk can only be sold at the farm where it is produced. They keep a small storefront where their fresh, raw milk is sold.

Once the cows are milked, they exit the milking area and walk out into the pasture. There is plenty of room to roam, about 200 acres.

When the kids came to fence, the cows seemed equally curious
about the children.

After being milked, the cows headed in the direction of the pasture. But the kids captured their attention, and the cows seemed to stop and watch the children for a bit. Eventually, they began to roaming the pasture and forgot all about us :) 

At the end of our visit, I bought the kids some Lucky Layla drinkable yogurt. Just $3 for 2 drinks, a bargain and farm fresh! Flavor choices were blackberry, blueberry, and pina colada. Everyone headed to the picnic tables and enjoyed their treat. The products are full fat, so rich! 

Madeline finished ALL her blackberry drinkable yogurt

Sophie loved the little container. I had to promise not to
put it in the recycle bin so she can use it later :)

Before taking the tour, I was unfamiliar with Lucky Layla products. But having toured the Lavon Farms facility, I definitely want to shop local and support my neighbors!

Do you live near any farms? Have you toured them?

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