Cabot Adventures in Maine

As you know, I was in Maine over the weekend with Cabot and some fellow bloggers as part of their Cabot Fit Team! In addition to having the opportunity to run the Beach to Beacon 10k, we also enjoyed getting to know some of the faces behind Cabot – both their employees and some of their farmers (and cows)!

Cabot is a cooperative made up of 1,200 family dairy farms located throughout New England and New York; 100% of their profits go back to their farmers.

On Friday afternoon, we all piled into {awesome plaid} vans and headed out to tour one of Cabot’s family farms, the Ridley Farm in Shapleigh, ME. “Random Acts of Cheddar” – too funny!

On the way to the farm, my van had fun chatting with Nick from Cabot. Fun fact from him: the different variations of Cabot cheese (e.g. sharp, extra sharp) aren’t specifically made – they are decided with a taste test! They have some employees whose main job it is to taste the cheese and categorize it. Awesome job, right? Apparently the flavor varies based on how long the cheese is aged, what temperatures are used during ageing, and even the time of year, because cows diets will change based on season, which affects the flavor of their milk! Cool.

It was great to get to see one of the farms in action. The farm owners, Roger and Karen, started as first generation farmers in 1973. They own 800 acres of mostly woodland, have 100 cows, and milk 35 of them. Since the farm is not large in terms of milk cows, the family does many other things to make ends meet. Roger, Karen, and their children all work on the farm, but they have outside jobs as well. Everybody lends a hand, and they all do a little bit of everything.

In between the morning and evening milking and the countless other chores necessary to run a farm, the Ridleys also operate a maple syrup business. Mmmm – my favorite!

The Ridley cows are out in the pastures in the morning and then brought inside during the hottest part of the day. Since we arrived around noon, we were able to meet the cows in their barn.

Oh hi!

I loved that they all had name plates! The Ridleys said that the cows that come from each line keep the same first letter for their names. So Ginger’s offspring, for example, will all be given names starting with G.

A big thank you again to the Ridleys for inviting us into their lives for the day! I have a tremendous amount of respect for farmers – so much hard work goes into running a successful farm.

Here we all are with the Ridleys and their children (and their super cute dog, who I was looking at instead of the camera). A bunch of them ran the 10k with us the next day, which was awesome!

Photo via Kristina

Other excitement of the weekend included some awesome meals. On Friday night, Cabot’s Candace hosted a pre-race dinner for us at her beautiful house.

Everything was so fresh and delicious! A lot of it was straight from her garden.

For dessert, we had this beautiful homemade blueberry pie. It was probably the best pie I’ve ever eaten. So pretty, too!

And as for the meals the rest of the weekend, we enjoyed eating all the lobster in Maine. Extensive photo evidence can be found on my Instagram page.

I’d like to give another big thank you to Cabot for having me and the others up this weekend! It was a pleasure to see them share their love for health, wellness, good food, and fitness. In addition to covering our Beach to Beacon race fee, Cabot also covered some of our travel expenses and meals and put us up at the cute Higgins Beach Inn right by the ocean in Scarborough, Maine, about 15 minutes south of Portland.

As for Portland itself? I was able to explore it a little on Saturday afternoon with Gina and our friend Tom from college! I love New England and Portland was no exception.

Have a great night, everyone!

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