Sunday, May 23, 2010

Bovine Heaven by the Sea; Appleton Farms, Ipswich, MA

Ok, we all know that I am indoctrinating my sons in my bizarre passion for cows.  I am not ashamed to admit it.  I remember falling in love with those husky, deer-like critters those blissful summers in Union, ME.  I was the same age as Sydney was now, and I was obsessed with the dairy farm across the street from my uncle's house on Seven Tree Pond.  Well, these apples won't be falling far from the tree.  We ventured out to Appleton last Father's Day on a wet and wiley day.  That trip made me decide to start the blog.  What other out-of-the way, uniquely New England adventures for dads just lay waiting?  I began with one of my favorites, the Cape Cod Baseball League.  Now, we are coming up on summer two (and post 100), and what better way to launch a season of fun than a tromp through the cow manure?

There is nothing out-of-the ordinary about Appleton.  There is the requisite CSA Farm with a waiting list of over 900 northshore residents.  There is the obligatory Farm Field School.  I know you say, been there, done that.  There are even quaintly Brahmin barns and stables over two centuries old.  Soooo dime a dozen!  But what you don't get anywhere else, (particularly so close you can smell the sea), are the rolling green pastures, and wide-open expanses  that make this farm one of the most beautiful in all of the Trustees of Reservations laundry-list of gems.

Alright, as long as I am admitting things, I did have ulterior motives.  Woodman's.  This isn't any old clam shack mind you.  This is THE clamshack.  Now, I know clamshacks.  From Red's Eats in Wiscasset to Arnold's in Eastham, I have tried them all.  I have sat for hours in bumper to bumper on Route One up and down the coast.  I would even do the 20 hour drive to O'Steen's in St. Augustines for their shrimp.  But, I digress.  Clams.  Since 1914 Woodman's, in little Essex, has been just a hop, skip and a jump from the cows.  You can even imagine them sneaking out at night to hit the stuff.  My man Sydney is a clam chowderhound.  Lij loves the fries.  But me, a straight fried clam man.  So after a hard day on the farm, hit Woodman's on the way home and try not to doze off on 128.