Friday, September 28, 2012

Wrights Dairy Farm

Field trips in high school were always something to look forward too.  It meant not having to sit in a desk for 8 hours or turning in homework or even taking a test or quiz.  In college, field trips aren't really field trips, except for the fact that they are still exciting!

The Pastry Club here at JWU traveled the 16.2 miles from our Harborside Campus to the Wrights Dairy Farm in Smithfield, Rhode Island.  The bus ride was nice, and the whole group was in good spirits, the only damper on the day was that it was raining.  Not just like a little drizzle of precipitation, it was a torrential downpour.

Earlier that morning, my roommate Kristina and I were getting ready to head out and meet the group at the bus stop.  She was wearing jeans and a nice shirt because I had told her to look cute as I was going to be taking pictures for this post.  She hates getting her picture taken by the way.  So, when she asked me what shoes she should wear, I was only thinking of her outfit, not of the weather.  Plus tennis shoes wouldn't have looked very nice with her peacoat.  So I recommended that she wear her black flip flops instead.

As soon as we left the dorm, she shot me a glare.  The rain was not to the downpour stage yet, but she still had to step in several unavoidable puddles.  Even though her feet were wet, she was not alone.  I had been thinking of my outfit as well, so I wore my nice, fairly new Sperrys.  My toes were wet almost immediately.

When we arrived, we hurried off the bus and huddled under the overhang on the side of the bakery.  The rain had increased in intensity by then.  We then met our wonderful tour guide, the daughter of the owner of the Wrights farm.  She led us, with our umbrellas in tow, over to the open barn where they keep the dairy cattle.  On the way over, we stepped carefully around a suspiciously smelly pile of "mud" and in several puddles.  Needless to say, we were kicking ourselves over our poor shoe choice.

Inside the airy barn, cows were everywhere!  Imagine that.  The rain was coming in through the opening down the middle of the roof, making the center of the ground a muddy mess.

Some of the cows were pretty shy, backing away when we approached with an outstretched hand.

On the contrary, some of the cows were too friendly.  I was taking a picture of Kristina, and while she was smiling at me, the cow licked her lapel!

I can tell this cow was very excited to be taking a picture with me, she even turned her head!  They were smelly, but it was cool to go see the whole process of how we get our morning milk.

This is where the cows are feed.  They feed on hay that the farm produces in the fields behind the barn.

There were so many cows!

This is where they keep the baby cows, the calves if you will.  Aren't they cute??  Here, this is a closer look.

Each fenced in area held two calves, and the calves shared a pod and a water and food pail.  They are taken away from their mothers within the first 4 days of their lives because otherwise it would be extremely hard to separate them.

Right next to the pods of calves, we traveled into a large building that houses all of the milking equipment.

The cows back into the stalls and their heads are held in place by a little lock on their collar.  They are milked everyday at 3 AM and 3 PM.

This is the bottler machine.  The bottles go down the ramp and get filled with the milk and then a cap is pressed securely on the top, sealing the bottle.  
Next, we traveled into the bakery portion of the farm.  It was like we had died and gone to heaven.  The smell of fresh whipped dream and warm cookies was intoxicating.

Look at the size of these mixers! I want one so bad.  Perhaps someday...

Kristina was excited too.  Maybe a little too excited....

There was everything you could dream of in this tiny kitchen.  These raw almond horns looked delish.

And look at the perfect dome on these cupcakes!


These are just a couple pictures of the section of the bakery where they put the finishing touches on the products before they go out to the selling floor.

And this, this is heaven.  Or its behind the counter of the store front, but who's asking?

Here is a couple employees wrapping the wonderful homemade caramel apples.

This is the infamous chocolate milk from Wrights.  Now normally, I don't really enjoy chocolate milk.  It's something about the whole concept of drinking milk with chocolate in it rather than the taste.  However, I will admit that this chocolate milk is THE best chocolate milk I have ever had.  It was rich but not overbearing, creamy but not thick, a cloud of chocolate in every swig.

And it comes in a half gallon, or this cute personal size.

I also grabbed one of their fresh apple dumplings.  It was amazing!  The crust was flaky yet moist and as soon as you broke the skin, this rich cinnamon apple ooze poured from every hole, soaking the flaky crust in every bite.

The apple itself was tender and moist, housing a sort of cream cheese-almond-cinnamon-sugar filling in its core-less core.  I was in love!

It was gone within 3 minutes.
I also purchased a few items to send back home for my guy to enjoy as well as a couple sweet things for myself. We then traveled down the road a ways to the gift shop and resteraunt.

They had Vera Bradley!!! That automatically makes them a really good store.

This is what a typical meal looks like family style.  

This is the Pastry Club Crew trudging back to the bus after a long day.

This is the way an eclair should be filled, to the brim with homemade cream.

I had a wonderful time at Wright's Dairy Farm and I plan on returning very soon!