THE START OF THE SCHOOL YEAR... can flood us with memories of the most meaningful, experiential sort. There's the scent of pencil shavings and the feel of sliding into a desk and the taste of the little cartons of milk we used to plunk down on our lunch tray, day after day. Those cartons summon another memory, of field trips out to local dairies, where we learned, as small tots, what cows ate and how milk was pasteurized and the dozens of daily duties that go down on a farm. If you're having a moment of school days' longing, as many adults do come August, there's a way to revisit that sweet childhood time and sample a California classic, too.
We speak of a trip to Rosa Brothers Milk Company, the Hanford-based maker of dairy goods, including one of the most famous flavors to be found on any Golden State product, root beer milk (more on that in a moment). Nope, the tours at the farm aren't just for the school-age set; there are "field trips" for adults and families and all devotees of dairy, and, yes, they encompass a lot of the info you learned back in elementary school but may have forgotten. Eager to jump on a tour? They happen...
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EVERY SATURDAY: Cost is five bucks for attendees ages 3 and up, you can make a reservation, and there's a milk or ice cream sample at the end. And in the middle? Lots of knowledge sharing about how a major farm is run, including topics like "animal care, water management, proper cow diet, dairy cow milk production, the milking process, and more." The chance to "pet a baby calf" is also on the Saturday tour schedule, too, so prepare to squee in delight. As for whether your sample at the end will be one of the famous flavored products that Rosa Brothers is known for? Whether it is or not, be sure to seek out the company's root beer milk or orange cream milk. It's like dessert in a cool glass, and a taste known, over the years, to many California kids. Is it okay that, as adults, we still long for some of the flavors and experiences we adored as young'uns? Of course, and we can find a major one, with some education on the side, in Hanford.