Oxford County Part 2: Farm Chores & Cheese Tasting

Even after starring as the main attraction at WienerFest and posing for some cover-worthy pictures on the harvard planes in Part 1, I still had much to explore in Oxford County.

The next day I was to get down and dirty helping out a local farm. I was especially excited to sit atop an iconic John Deere tractor. Perhaps this isn’t the Tom Crusoe in a WWII plane type of sexy you saw last time, but I’m sure there are at least some ladies out there who are more into the hunky farmer type.

(I know Mum is).

Crusoe Driving John Deere Tractor

Hey, I cater to many different tastes.

And I don’t think anyone could deny I look marvelous atop a tractor.

Crusoe Driving Tractor

Leaping Deer Adventure Farm & Market

So I was to lend a hand paw at the Leaping Deer Adventure Farm & Market, which welcomes locals and out-of-town visitors and their furry friends to their farm for a variety of fun activities, like a huge corn maze, wagon rides, petting the animals, picnics, and of course, watching the pig races! What’s cool about Leeping Deer is they are one of the very few farms that actually accept dogs, which is what attracts many people from out of town to come here.

Although their season only starts in August for welcoming visitors to the farm’s attractions, as you can imagine, there were plenty of chores still to be done before that time. So I asked the owner, Julie, what she might need help with.

“Well, what can you do?” She asked.

I thought for a moment, running through the bazillion things I can do amazingly well, but finally landed on, “I can dig”.

“Great, well we still have some corn that needs plantin'”.

She didn’t have to ask me twice. Without a moment to lose I was nose-deep in the dirt, diggin’ like a dachshund does best.

Dachshund Digging Farm

As they inevitabley discovered, it’s a lot easier to get me to start diggin’ than it is to get me to stop diggin’…

These two front shovels have a mind of their own!

Cute Dachshund Digging

And like the job description forewarned, I got dirty!

Dirty Dachshund

I finally got a hold of myself and remembered I had to plant some corn.

So out of my little overalls pocket and into the fresh hole I just dug, in went 4 seeds.

Crusoe Planting Corn

Looks like I found another title I can add to my resume – “farmer”!

I was quite proud standing in my own soon-to-be corn field, which I planted with my own two front paws.

Cute Dog Farmer Crusoe

So anyway, that was all the diggin’ they needed for today, so it was onto the next chore.

I couldn’t help but notice the goats really wanted my attention. They either want me to feed them, or they’ve just never seen a wiener dog before.

Dog Day on the Farm

“What do goats eat?” I asked Julie. “I hope not hot dogs”.

“Well pretty much anything, but they might like some hay.”

That was a bit worrying. So I made sure to find the yummiest hay around so they wouldn’t start asking about a bun to go with their hot dog.

Cute Farmer Dachshund

I couldn’t imagine how anyone could enjoy eating this stuff…

But then again, I eat grass before it’s dried up.

I was pleased to see it met their fancy!

Dog Feeding Goats

I was starting to feel like a real farmer!

The last thing Julie asked me to do was go feed the chickens.

But when they brought this little chick out, I had to be restrained once Mum saw me licking my chops.

Crusoe and Chick

“Oh, I thought you said to go feed myself some chicken!”

Sorry, my misunderstanding. As I told Julie, I’m used to being around a lot of chicks, but not this kind.

So by now I’m just about feeling like a real, tried and true farmer, but for some reason there was still something missing.

Ah, that’s it!

Crusoe the Farmer

It was just a piece of straw I needed to complete the look!

A special thank you to Julie and the folks at Leaping Deer Adventure Farm for giving me my farmer certification! I hope to come back one day when the season is started and the fields are aflood with people and pups!

Ingersoll Cheese & Agricultural Museum

Later that day after my work at the farm was complete, my next stop was the Ingersoll Cheese & Agricultural Museum.

All aboard!

Train Station Ingersoll

Fooled you – this isn’t a real train station; it’s an exhibit at the museum!

I wanted to come here to learn a bit about the history of cheese making in the area, before my official “cheese tasting” the next day.

Ingersoll Cheese Museum

I’ll save you all the details, but pretty much how it works from my understanding is that cows – much like the ones that stared me down in Switzerland – eat some grass and make some milk. People take the milk and put it in a tub. They stir it around for a while then pour it into a bunch of other containers including this round thing I’m sitting on. They put it on a shelf for a few months, and somehow after that it becomes cheese.

Something like that anyway. Just visit the museum if you want the full scoop.

But what was also interesting was the old children’s classroom there from the late 1800’s/early 1900’s!

Cute Dog Student Classroom

I had to picture myself living in a different time…

Who knows, maybe I would have been a school teacher spieling about the proper way to flex instead of becoming a world-famous celebrity?!..

How to Flex Like Crusoe

And look, this is where they used to eat the cheese they made back in the old days.

1900 House Dog

Where the heck is the TV though? I like to watch a little Animal Planet while enjoying a casual meal…

So having experienced the full history of cheese-making and eating, I felt I was finally ready.

Gunn’s Hill Artisan Cheese

The next day I was very excited to visit the award-winning Gunn’s Hill Artisan Cheese factory in Woodstock for my first official “cheese tasting”.

So with the rolling green pastures in the backdrop, I sat at a picnic table with their 5 main cheeses laid in front of me.

Gunn's Hill Artisan Cheese

I couldn’t wait to taste them!

Shep, the owner and creator of Gunn’s Hill Artisan Cheese, would be the one presenting them to me. He learned some of his cheese-making techniques in Switzerland, like me.

So check out the video! As you’ll see, I am quite the connoisseur!

Yes, I only eat the freshest cheese curds…

However, if you can wrap up the rest of these, I’ll take them all home, please! 🙂

Crusoe Cheese Tasting

If you’re in the area, you should try some of their cheese yourself!

So with a new title under my belt, a new knowledge of cheese-making history, and a bag full of cheese, I concluded my stay in Oxford County and headed home.

It’s been a wonderful adventure though, with much more to see and do than I ever would have thought. Thanks again to Oxford Tourism for helping me organize everything!

But the celebrity life is never done. I have two days to rest at home then it’s a 12 hour car ride out to the east coast of Canada where I was last year for another getaway.

Keep tastin’,

~ Crusoe

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Keep ballin’,