Wednesday, 10 June 2009
A Visit to Mapleton Organic Farm & Ice Cream
On Sunday we took a different route home than usual, a little out of our way. I was looking for a place that turned out to be some sort of hallucination on my part, and didn't actually exist. However, by chance we turned out to be driving past Mapleton's Organic Dairy. Well, I say "driving past". You know us. We didn't drive past.
Not only do Mapletons raise and milk organic cows, and make ice-cream and yogurt from it, they have made their farm a destination. There was a birthday party in full swing in the building above; cake and balloons surrounded by donkeys, alpacas, pigs, chickens and a swarm of kids (not the goat kind.) I've managed to avoid photographing too many people, but this was a very popular destination for a Sunday outing, and in addition to the party there was a steady stream of ice-cream seekers, in spite of rather cool weather.
Most of the animals in this building were in their outdoor pens enjoying the fresh air, but these piglets were asleep in a heap inside.
Further along there was a row of calves in pens, being teased by this cat who would wave her tail in their noses until they took a nibble, then wander off to tease the next one.
We stuck our head in the barn, but the cows were all elsewhere, presumably out munching on sweet spring grass.
There's a maze in a nearby field, although it looks like it needs a little filling out yet. Big enough to keep you busy for a while, though.
There is also a Community Shared Agriculture plan at the farm, of which this greenhouse is a part.
Finally, we headed to the main event - the ice cream shop! The ice-cream factory is in the back of the building; we peeked through a window and got a glimpse of stainless steel, but there wasn't anyone there at the time.
Ice cream and frozen yogurt in a small but good range of flavours and sizes.
In addition, they sell cheese, yogurt and frozen organic meats.
Getting to be a little late for this season, but they carry a nice selection of seeds from Hawthorn Farm.
Aaand the ice-cream. On offer to scoop into cones or cups they had Strawberry, Raspberry, Green Tea, Vanilla, Chocolate, Cappuccino, Maple Sugar, Vanilla Chocolate Chip ice cream, and Lemon and Strawberry frozen yogurts. We opted to buy a pint of Ginger ice-cream to share.
How was it? It was lovely. The flavour was more ginger-snap than ginger, not too strong to overpower the creaminess of the ice-cream but with a nice bite. The list of ingredients was about a third of the length of even good-quality commercial ice-cream these days, and nothing too eye-brow raising - started with organic cream and organic sugar.
We picked up a flyer for their "Fridays on the Farm" starting June 12th, from 4 to 8 pm. They're advertising local produce, cheese and baking available as well as the ice-cream etc, and there will be wagon rides, kids crafts and entertainment for $5 a person or $20 per family, no limit.
They are a bit out in the wilderness, being located about halfway between Arthur and Palmerston, near Teviotdale. However, if you are at all nearby, they are well worth a visit. Bring your cooler and stock up - they have case specials. They are open 11:00 am to 6:00 pm 7 days a week from Victoria Day to Thanksgiving; Tuesday to Saturday 11:00 am to 5:00 pm the rest of the year.