Libbys on the Loose:2 Humans. 2 Great Danes. 1 RV.: July 2016

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Harvest Hosts Review - Carman Brook Maple & Dairy Farm - Swanton, VT

Harvest Host:
Carman Brook Maple & Dairy Farm
1275 Fortin Road
Swanton, VT 05488

For the full-time RVer, there is no substitute for a great place to stay at a reasonable cost.  We discovered Harvest Hosts early on in our travels.  Needless to say, it's been an incredible way for us to try new things and meet (some of the most warm and kind) people along the way.  

I (Eric) grew up with a Mennonite family who babysat me for the better part of my childhood.   The first farm the family had was a fully operational dairy farm.  Falling in love with dairy was not only unavoidable, but at this point, it would be unthinkable!  If you haven't had the pleasure (and don't have an aversion to casein) of raw milk, you have to give it a shot!  Reminiscent of wines carrying the flavor of the grapes and region they are grown or meats having the earthy flavor of the grasses the game grazed on, raw milk is much the same - each has its own unique taste.  Unfortunately, this farm isn't allowed to sell any of their milk as they are part if a co-op, but if you ask them to sample, they may oblige you a taste :)  
Great level parking alongside one of their storage barns
One of the other very neat parts about staying at this farm is that they are also a working maple syrup farm, too.  There is a stand of maple trees not too far of a walk from the sugar house where you can see the work in action depending on the time of year.  They have plenty of maple syrup and plenty of other forms for purchase in the retail shop! 
Also found in the retail shop - a selection of their own holstein beef and veal products.  We made sure we stock up on plenty of these!  They plan on expanding their meat operations and selection in the future.                                             

We had the opportunity to talk with one of the sons on the farm.  He's recently started catering weddings and other events in the area so if you're in the market, definitely drop them a line!  While we didn't have any of his foods (he had just catered a wedding a few days prior to our arrival), we can certainly attest to the fact that any of them would be true farm-to-table style!  Not only were there a plethora of fresh meats, but a garden that any fellow green-thumbed person would envy was between the home and the sugar house! 

There are also a few caves that can be accessed by walking about 10-15 minutes to the backside of the 700 acre property.  Also on the property is a stone quarry that can be found just past the caves.  
While visiting, we almost got to witness the birth of a baby calf!  Unfortunately, we were about 12 hours too late.  We did get to meet the (very uncoordinated) little guy and he was surely full of energy - and hungry!

Last, but certainly not least, is the freedom that our babies got to run around!  Moose and Nyx had a blast playing with the cows in the expansive (watch out for cow patties!) pastures.  Who knew Great Danes were herders?!  The other neat part is that the family has two adorable dachshund doggies. While they are full of barks, don't let that scare you away, they are both sweethearts and very affectionate!
Thank you so much to Carman Brook Maple & Dairy Farm!!! - we appreciate your hospitality and hope to stay with you again...

Home and accompanying garden
Another view of the garden
One of the many large pastures
Dairy Barn
Last shot of the garden - we were truly envious!
Tractor Barn
The newborn calf (on the right)
Chickens that (sometimes) lay eggs
Ok seriously, we have a problem with garden envy!
Perfectly cute little hosts!
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