Tag Archives: Myakka City

Dakin Dairy Farm-Wholesome Food and Fun

Dakin Dairy Farm, Wholesome Food and Fun in a Rural Setting

Established in 1973, Dakin Dairy Farm is located on Betts Road, off SR 70, east of Bradenton, Florida. No true seeker of Finding Florida would overlook the state’s rural areas and since there are only 150 dairies still in operation in the state of Florida, this producer of superior dairy products should be high on the list of “must-see’s”.

The family-operated dairy embraces old-fashioned values coupled with today’s technology and modern farming practices. Some milk is bottled on site, some is sent for processing in Miami.

Dakin DairyDakin Dairy Farm is a “sustainable farm” and composts its own fields. Mixing the grasses (harvested twice daily), homegrown hay and fresh grains creates a diet rich in beta-carotene, Vitamin D & E. The cows are closely monitored by a qualified nutritionist, for optimum health for the cow and more nutritious milk for the consumer. The CLAs (conjugated linoleic acids) are natural cancer inhibitors and improve healthy milk-fats. The proof is in the taste, deemed sweeter and high above that of competitors, large or small. An added benefit is a creamier texture.Dakin Dairy Farm/Organic Approach

The Dakin family takes an organic approach to dairy farming, allowing the cows to come in for milking as they choose. The philosophy is that when cows are allowed to set the pace according to their instincts, stress is reduced and milk production increases.



The on-site farm market carries a full line of milk products, honey from local bees, homemade ice cream, and small gifts. Milk choices range from whole, 2%, 1%, fat-free, and chocolate milk. Cream, heavy or half & half, is also available, as is eggnog and orange juice. All products are 100% all natural, with no artificial ingredients.

Milk can be purchased at the Dakin Dairy Farm itself or statewide at Whole Foods stores, as well as local Sweetbay grocery stores. Additionally, over 150 local restaurants and farm stores offer Dakin Dairy Farm products, as well.

Milk products are not all that Dakin Dairy Farm sells, though! Compost (15 yards or more) is also available for purchase, as are bull calves (heifer calves are not for sale).

Educational and hands-on “Agri-Tours” and school field trips are available October through April. Visitors can see the process of milk production from cow to bottle, take an informative hayride (or the cow train!) through the ranch, and bottle-feed a calf. Autumn brings additional treats of corn and hay mazes, and, for those interested, fossil digs. Birthday parties are a popular choice. Don’t miss out on one of their picnics for a true Myakka City experience, where you can order up anything from boiled peanuts to pulled pork sandwiches to S’Mores over a campfire.

For those seeking a rural Florida experience, Dakin Dairy Farm in Myakka City is a good place to start. Y’all come visit, they’ll make you welcome.

Additional photos may be seen at Julie North Photography (permission granted), whose daughter has become so accustomed to the taste of Dakin milk that she thought a competitor’s had gone bad!







Inland Florida: The Crowley Property

How do you achieve a change of perspective? For me, it requires a ride out to the country…


…and a walk down the old trail, a cattle trail which once led from the County Seat down to the Tamiami Trail. From there, the Crackers (named for the cowboys’ cracking whips) drove their cattle to Fort Myers for markets north or further south to Miami for shipment to Cuba:


But, before we start… does anybody need to use the bathroom? (Don’t mention my name or you’ll get a seat with a hole in it):


Should we go this way?


Or would you rather take this way?


Okay, we’ll take the stairs…


… which leads to a path to nowhere…


Which way should we go?


I chose the right fork. The thing about swamps is that most of the time, the water isn’t that deep….


…and beauty is a hard won concept:


But fighting through the muck…


…and the mire…


…leads to wide open vistas:


Since the weather was beastly hot with suffocating humidity, we were completely and utterly alone in the swamp, where dead silence is broken by the deafening noise from billions of grasshoppers, the buzz of bee-like creatures that seemed to dive-bomb from out of nowhere, and an eerie mockingbird that laughed at us from above, telling us, “Hahahaha, you’ll never get out alive.” Oh, and the rustling leaves from a scurrying animal trying to avoid meeting us…was that a snake or a frightened squirrel? The butterflies were abundant, delicately fluttering around us. Gnats buzzed around my neck and little biting critters tried to hitchhike on my shirt and I imagined how alone the first settlers must have felt out there.

I started out fresh and clean on our walk and emerged looking like something the cat dragged in! My hair was plastered to my head; I was sweating buckets, and watching my step carefully. But I went into the swamp as a bundle of nerves and came out calm. Why? The alone-ness of the area, I suppose, nothing more than a vast marsh at the end of a long hike. Perhaps it was the calming effect ancient oaks emit, or simply thinking about something other than money and world peace and whether we’re going to hell in a hand basket.

We stopped and bought ribs and brisket from the roadside BBQ man and had a fine lunch. My day was brown and green and dark and mysterious and, at the end, punctuated by rising white and gray clouds over endless marsh, a reminder that places of refuge can still be found, a place where the world cannot intrude.

May you find your refuge regardless of where you live in the world, but if you reside in Florida, I highly recommend a visit to the Crowley property in Myakka City.