We have moved east in Vermont to the southern end of an area called the Kingdom. We are in Lazy Lions Campground, just south of the state capitol of Montpelier. We are completely surrounded by the beautiful Green Mountains of Vermont.
Today we headed into the hills to the rural town of Cabot for a tour of the Cabot Creamery. This company is a co-op of the surrounding farmers which has grown to be a national company selling cheeses and other dairy products all across the country. The number of farmers in the co-op has grown from the original 300 farms to over 1500 today. They reportedly still adhere to their original standards of free range dairy cows, no antibiotics, or other drugs in the milking herd. Our tour guide indicated they are very strict on these standards and every load of milk delivered to one of their creameries is tested for quality. If any of their standards are not met, the farmer who is responsible for the contamination of the truck load is obligated to pay the other farmers on that load for the lost revenue.
The town of Cabot remains small and looks like what I expected a small town in Vermont to look like based on old TV shows and movies. Only in a small town will you find a hardware store serving lunch in the back room of the store. After a quick look, we decided to pass. I can only say that if you remember the Bob Newhart show staged in Vermont and the characters Larry, and his brother Daryl and his other brother Daryl, I need say no more.
Now for the rant. The creamery provides a sample table to try the various products of the company. We have avoided these samplers everywhere for the same reason. This one proved to be no exception. Despite the signs asking everyone to use the toothpicks (one each sample), the samplers were digging in with both hands and reusing the picks over and over in a feeding frenzy that would suggest that they had not seen food in weeks. Both the sanitary and general behavior was appalling. Even the cashier remarked on their performance. This is nothing new to us, as we have seen it across the country, where free samples are provided. We have adopted a general rule to never try samples.