KINGSTON TWP. — The Lands at Hillside Farms’ black and white cow-spotted ice cream truck will not be grazing at various events this summer.
No, the “Moo Truck” has not been put out to pasture, according to Chet Mozloom, the executive director at The Lands at Hillside Farms in Kingston Township.
“The truck is out of commission for this year,” he said. “We have limited people and shifting our resources to other things.”
Mozloom said the 15-member farm full-time staff members are working to increase the herds’ consumption of fresh grass and decrease the grain in the cows’ diet, which will result in a higher-quality dairy product used for ice cream.
“The trick is to balance their diet,” Mozloom said of the cows. “Over the years, we have decreased the grain in the herd’s diet by about 70 percent.”
The nutritional transition is not as simple as switching one food item for another.
The herd, which consists of 63 dairy cows, needs to be moved from field to field to access fresh grazing grass, Mozloom said. The herd maneuvers require farm staff to usher the cows across Hillside Road more frequently,
“It takes two to four people, depending on traffic, to get the herd across the street,” he said.
Also, as the cows are moved so are field water tubs, which also requires staff members.
Milking is also occurring more often.
As some employees focus on improving the herd’s diet, others are working to reformulate the nonprofit’s well-known ice cream recipe.
“We are consistently making changes to the ice cream base,” Mozloom said. “We are reformulating our soft serve to use more natural and healthier ingredients.”
For example, corn syrup was replaced by sugar cane.
“We are using more natural stabilizers,” Mozloom said.
The parked ice cream truck has spurred rumors that the vehicle has mechanical problems.
Mozloom wants to assure customers the truck is in top-notch condition.
“We have the truck and can take it out,” Mozloom said.
He understands patrons will miss seeing the Moo Truck at several summer events but hopes fans will be patient as staff focuses on increasing the quality of products.
The Lands at Hillside Farms’ Ice Cream Parlor, located at 65 Hillside Road in Shavertown is open daily to the public, serving up a variety of ice cream flavors.
Mozloom said the ice cream truck could be on the road, roaming about to different events next year.
Reach Eileen Godin at 570-991-6387 or on Twitter @TLNews.