You can’t get much farther from the fast lane than the gravel one that skirts a national forest and rounds Liberty Hill’s 200 acres. Seven bedrooms in the original 1825 farmhouse that once lodged hired hands now house travelers. The curious can live like farmhands as closely as they desire (stacking hay bales aside), helping feed and milk Bob and Beth Kennett’s herd of Holsteins twice daily, bottle-nursing the newborn calves and collecting eggs from the free-ranging flock of chickens.
Leading hand-milking wannabes out to the red barn, Bob demonstrates the ins and outs of crouching on the hay-strewn floor and grabbing the teats of Holsteins with names like Sweet Pea.
“Squeeze and pull,” he instructs, as a stream of warm milk issues from the cow.
Whether you work or watch, Beth Kennett ensures that you eat like a farmhand twice daily. If you thought bacon and eggs were starter enough, add to that menu homemade cinnamon rolls, pancakes, ham, fruit salad and fresh-from-the-barn milk. Dishes crowd the dinner table, which can seat up to 12, with chicken pot pie, broccoli and lettuce salads, biscuits, peas, mashed potatoes, carrots and beet greens.
“When people stay here, they live with our family,” says the cook.
And play like them, too. Dangle in a tire swing under the maple. Hike the forest. Fish the stream. And, on hot days, follow a field road to the White River for a splash in the swimming hole. Until the cows come home. And need milking.
Rooms cost $120 per adult, $75 for teens and $60 for children 2-12, and include dinner and breakfast.--
City girl and widely published travel writer Elaine Glusac appreciates the greener things in life. Married to an ex-farmer, she owns a Farmall Super H tractor parked in Minnesota that won’t fit in her Chicago garage.
MORE SUMMER TRAVEL QUESTS
78) Milk a Cow on a Farm in Vermont