A Day at the Farm

by Jennifer Golemba

On a beautiful August day, Sassy Cow Creamery opened their doors to the public for a dairy-rific experience of an Ice Cream Social–and boy was it a treat!

I took my two kids on the 1 1/2 hour drive out southwest of Columbus, Wisconsin to tour the creamery and dairy, but what we experienced was more than just a tour. Granted, my kids are pretty stellar and enjoy some kind of odd things, but this was an event that any family would enjoy. There were animals to see and pet, coloring books to color, tractors to fancy upon, corn to jostle around in, and a hay ride that towed us to the farm. And ICE CREAM to sample.

     

Although the Chocolate Chisel serves Sassy Cow’s ice cream, we learned that Sassy Cow also bottles milk and cream and makes string cheese and cheese curds, each product on an alternating day.

My favorite day is Thursday, though. That’s when they make the ice cream. We knew that the ice cream was made in small batches, but when we saw a single ice cream maker (smaller than the ones you see on Food Network’s “Iron Chef” or “Chopped”), we were shocked. All 16 flavors of creamy goodness in our ice cream case come from that one single machine?! It turns out that Linda, sister of the two brothers that own Sassy Cow, spends all day–sometimes until 10:00pm–making batch upon batch of ice cream. She’ll whip up each flavor in the machine, but if there’s something with a swirl, she’ll throw in a little extra TLC by folding in those chunks by hand. In my book, there’s nothing simple about folding in the perfect amount of “stuff” in a perfect swirl to get the perfect scoop of ice cream in perfect proportion. Can you imagine folding in chunks of cookie dough or caramel gallon after gallon? I think my arm would fall off.

Linda, shout out to you, our ice cream hero!

 
 

After we got in on the last creamery tour of the day, we hopped on the hay wagon that took us 1/2 mile down the road to the dairy farm. That’s where we met James Baerwolf, farmer and owner of Sassy Cow. He introduced us to the cows, although they seemed more interested in consuming hay than meeting us. Half the herd had already walked over to the barn to be milked while this bunch greeting us awaited their turn.

Here’s a typical day in the life of a cow:

3am-10am – Milking in shifts
8am-afternoon – Head out to the pasture for some fresh grub until it gets too hot.
Head back to the barn. They don’t like being hot.
(Side note: you know that commercial, “California cows are happy cows”? If cows prefer to be cool, don’t you think they’d like it better in Wisconsin?)
3pm – Milking again

5pm – Head out to pasture until it gets too buggy or dark (much like us, cows don’t like misquitos, either)

     

I found it interesting that the barn doors are left open and other than milking, the cows get to decide when they want to come or go. I always figured cows to be kind of dumb, just following the crowd, but apparently they have feelings, too. Who knew?

In between tours, we got to sample some of the new ice cream flavors:

Aztec Hot Chocolate, Blueberry Crisp, Macinapple Fudge, Sweet Potato with Marshmallow (hands down, our favorite!), and enjoy some Pie A La Mode.

Let me tell you, we were in rolly-poly heaven!

 

It was a day of sweet enjoyment and fresh air. An experience we’ll never forget, and a ride home that the kids will never remember (they were out in the first 5 minutes).
 
 

To find out more about Sassy Cow Creamery, click here to go to their website.

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