Some of the coolest hands-on workshops that happened at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Puyallup, Wa. (June 2 and 3), were technically kids workshops. One of the neatest presentations was done by Organic Valley. The kids (and kids-at-heart) listened as an organic dairy farming family told about their operation. Everyone got to see what a milking machine looked like, learn how it worked and how long milking takes (four hours, twice a day at this 170-plus-head dairy), and what raising grass-fed dairy cattle organically means.
I was surprised at how much many of the young participants already knew about farming. When asked to identify the breeds of various cows pictured in the photos shown during the presentation, many of the kids yelled out, "Holstein!" and "Jersey!" without hesitation. They weren't stumped when asked what a mammal was either, or when asked to name their favorite dairy products.
The presentation led up to the big activity of the day: The Great Butter Shake-Off!
After the presentation, the kids got to put their arm muscles to good use "churning" butter: Cream was poured into pint jars, the lids were screwed on, and the kids got to shake ... and shake ... and shake, until the cream turned into whipping cream, then finally — fresh, delicious, homemade butter. The butter was immediately spread onto crackers and eaten with relish. Check out video of how to make homemade butter and the organic dairy presentation from our YouTube channel.
If you missed the FAIR in Puyallup, never fear! Our second MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR will be held this September in Seven Springs, Pa. Also, read more about how easy it is to make homemade butter from one of our past articles.
Jennifer Kongs is the Managing Editor at MOTHER EARTH NEWS magazine. When she’s not working at the magazine, she’s likely working in her garden, on the local running trails or in her kitchen instead. You can find Jennifer on Twitter or Google+.
Photo by Jennifer Kongs