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  • Flint Hill Farms. Or That Time I Milked a Goat… flint-hill-farms Full view

    Flint Hill Farms. Or That Time I Milked a Goat…

    flint hill farmsSometimes it’s the times when your plans fall through that lead to the ultimate serendipitous moments. Like when I ended up on a farm stay with cows, horses, goats and cats at Flint Hill Farms overnight.

    I’ll back it up…

    We wanted to be creative and find something to do outside of Philly that was besides the ‘norm’ of the shore, DC or NYC. Googling a variety of options for a B&B, there it was: Farm Stay.

    “Wait, wait. Like we can stay on a farm? Like overnight?”

    You can clearly guess who was immediately sold on the idea. I have no idea how I never thought to consider this possibility myself…

    How does a Farm Stay Work?

    Flint Hill Farm has opportunities for guests to stay in the Farm House, which is like a B&B but with Roosters crowing in the morning. Flint Hill Farm had a couple of house animals (two dogs and a sweet black cat) and two rooms to ensure your stay is comfortable. You have the option to participate with the farm ‘workings’ for an extra $25/group (for insurance purposes.)

    The owner, Kathy, awaited our arrival and greeted us as soon as we parked. Upon her recommendation, we bypassed the 5:30 AM role-call to milk the cows to sleep until 6 AM for the first portion of breakfast. Fresh farm cheeses, bread, jam, smoothies and butter were on the table to enjoy. Everything was fresh and absolutely delectable. Plus, coffee is an essential to get me going at 6 AM on a Sunday.

    Flint Hill Farm BreakfastAfter having our fill of breakfast feast part I, we went outside to the chicken coops to gather eggs for our morning breakfast part II.

    Flint Hill Farms ChickensEach pen had chickens that greeted us (and roosters that were to be avoided), but I picked up a few eggs and placed in a basket for the feast.

    Getting eggs at Flint Hill Farms

    The next task was milking the goats. Since I had never milked anything before, it was quite an interesting experience. About 30-40 goats were gathered in different pens in the barn and all eager to see humans (and know that food was coming.)

    feeding the goats
    Feeding the goats

    Their hilarious personalities charmed me as I offered them oats and pet them like little dogs or Pounces. The milking was down to a science, so the goats jumped up into their stations automatically. One person would distract and feed the goats as the other would clean the utters, place on the suction/milking devices and let the machines do their magic. Once the milk started running dry, we removed the suction from it and ‘stripped the teats’ to avoid any infections.

    milking the goats

    The goats were happy as they were fed and then we’d guide the goats back to the barn portion where they could be outside. Funny enough, some of the goats would escape and check out their goat buddies.

    herding the goats

    After milking a few of the goats, our breakfast feast part II was ready. Kathy had prepared scrambled eggs with cheese, roasted potatoes and scrapple for the carnivore. More treats awaited us like kefir and buttermilk.

    After breakfast part II, we milked a few more goats and then decided to explore the farm. There was a nice little path through the woods that surrounded the farm. Since I couldn’t get enough of the goats, I had to say hi to the Kids upon return.

     Hanging with the goat kids at Flint Hill Farms

    We also lucked out since the farm had a blanching class that day. Dropping in for a few minutes, we saw the masters explain how to boil the vegetables to just the right color before placing them in ice-cold water.

    After draining the veggies, you freeze them immediately. When you take them out, you drop immediately in hot water again and they are pretty much farm fresh again!

    blanching class at Flint Hill Farm

    Many of the class participants were intrigued about the city folk  and suggested that I may just move out to a farm! Although I love the city, I look forward to the day I can have a few goats of my own… But in the meantime, this farm stay was a fabulous substitution!

    Here are a few of my favorite farm shots, as we part:

    About Flint Hill Farm

    Flint Hill Farm is 28-acre farm in Lehigh County, PA. Many people (like us!) go to Dorney Park for the day and then stay at the farm afterwards.

    I was pleased to see that Flint Hill Farm is a PASA member, who work with so many great farmers and local food providers in our region. PASA also hosts the Philly Farm & Food Fest. Find out more about the Farm Stay from their website.

     

    Julie Hancher

    About Julie Hancher

    Julie Hancher is Editor-in-Chief of Green Philly, sharing her expertise of all things sustainable in the city of brotherly love. She enjoys long walks in the park with local beer and greening her travels, cooking & cat, Sir Floofus Drake.

    Your thoughts . . .

    • Nic G

      Sounds like fun Julie! Thanks for sharing.