As promised, we did indeed go the other day for a very cool visit to a tiny local dairy that offers milk shares (think CSA, but for milk instead of veggies). We stayed and hung out for the evening milking, talked with the farmer, and signed up for a gallon a week then and there because basically, it is super cool.
The lovely lady pictured above is named Jemima, and she is one of four cows who now supply the milk that our family drinks each week. We met all four of the girls and had a chance to scratch them on the ears, which is about as personal as I've ever had the chance to get with the source of the milk going into my morning cup of coffee. Mariam seems to have an inordinate fondness for cows, so she thought that the whole thing was just ridiculously fun, especially when she got to feed five week old calves from giant "baby bottles."
Now we begin the fun part; I've got some good recipes in hand and am ready to try a bit of amateur cheesemaking.