Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Adventures in fried cheese curds at Young's Jersey Dairy

When visiting our relatives in Ohio we sometimes manage to fit in a little sightseeing. One year we drove to Clifton, birthplace of OSU Buckeyes coach Woody Hayes as well as home to one of the largest water powered grist mills still in existence (with a restaurant overlooking the scenic gorge). When the OH destination was Cincinnati, we often strolled the University campus. This Easter our side-trip was geared towards the younger crowd with a visit to Young’s Jersey Dairy in Yellow Springs, OH. The farm dates back to 1869 when relatives of the Young family built the red barn, and received its name when Hap Young bought the 60 acre farm shortly after WWII. They grew grain, raised hogs and milked cows, selling milk and dairy products and eventually baked goods.

In the 1990s the farm branched out into family entertainment, adding an 18-hole mini golf course, driving range, batting cages and seasonal entertainment, such as the corn maze, pick-your-own pumpkin and wagon rides in the fall. It didn’t take much to satisfy Lauris, Mikus and Annalija though, watching the cows and feeding the goats was adventure enough.

Cheesemaking started in July 2009; using only milk from their herd of Jersey cows they produce cheddar, colby, baby swiss, jersey jack, pepperjack and fresh cheddar curds. The trip was worth it only to try the deep fried cheddar cheese curds – our order disappeared in record time! Ice cream was the big hit with the boys, for once it was being consumed faster than it could melt.

We spent some additional time exploring the area next to the farm, where in addition to picnic tables a pair of old tractors are displayed and climbing areas made up of tractor tires and milk jugs provide free entertainment. Soon it was time to head back to join the rest of the family, stomachs full and energy spent (although I could have ordered more of those fried cheese curds!), glad that we had the chance to check out this local hot spot.

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