As one might do with dentist appointments or oil checks, I make a point of visiting at least one petting zoo a year. An afternoon with barnyard animals always makes me less insecure about my own grooming routine – you think your hair is unmanageable until you run your hands over a donkey’s mane – but also, on a more idealistic note, makes me believe a little more in the potential for people to forget about surface-level differences and just get along already. Maybe it was the above-pictured sheep who first greeted me and smiled for my iPhone or the cows who moo-ed in the most delighted tone I believe is possible for a mammal to achieve, but my Saturday at Easton’s Klein Farms with my parents took away a little of my post-grad cynicism.
The 75-year-old farm feels a little like a three-dimensional Beatrix Potter novel, with every corner of the farm occupied by either cows, donkeys, turkeys, geese, chickens, sheep, goats and cats, many of whom nonchalantly hop their respective fences to catch up on barnyard gossip, I suppose. I followed some geese through the mud, down a slight incline to the milking barns where there was more pleasant moo-ing despite a thick odor of manure permeating the area. I couldn’t help but smile as well when a rooster dashed, as if walking on hot coals, into the group of calves and all seemed as surprised as one would be after hearing that Kanye proposed to Kim K. in a football stadium. “I guess all those books I used to read to you as a kid about all the animals getting along were really true,” my mother laughed.
We then headed up to the farm’s store, which was nearly packed with customers all stocking up on gallons of raw milk (Klein’s specialty). Aside from some newfound optimism, I left with a block of raw garlic and pepper cheese, a jug of apple cider, half a shoofly pie and two bottles of “ShMOOgurt” in maple vanilla and chocolate, which is a sort of yogurt smoothie that is as fun to drink as it is to say. Anyone looking for a rural escape this fall, I highly suggest this welcoming animal utopia located at 410 Klein Road, Easton, PA.