Monday, July 6, 2009

My Town Monday: Oasis Camel Dairy in Ramona, CA



There are A LOT of fun things to do in San Diego. A LOT. Some, like the San Diego Zoo and SeaWorld, everybody knows about. Some, though, are a little off the beaten path.

Like the Oasis Camel Dairy in Ramona.

You may have heard of Ramona on the news. It's where the Cedar Fire, one of our largest wildfires, began in October 2003. What else? James Cagney owned a bunch of land in Ramona. As in 900+ acres. And the town got its name from the Indian maiden in Helen Hunt Jackson's 1884 novel Ramona. Ramona is about 37 miles northeast of downtown San Diego.

Okay. Back to the Camel Farm. I've lived in San Diego for a little over, ahem, 20 years. And I've NEVER been to the camel dairy. BUT, the next monthly tour is July 11, and I'm so there along with at least a couple of my children.



Gil Riegler and Nancy Kobert-Riegler run the 34-acre dairy, which, by the way, is the ONLY camel dairy in the entire USA.

Some trivia about the dairy and/or camels (in no particular order):

-Camels live to be about 50 years old.
-Camels have THREE eyelids to help keep the dessert sand out of their eyes.
-Gil was actually in the Israeli military and rode camels with the Bedouin.
-There are about 18 camels at the dairy.
-You can rent a camel from the dairy for a party or Nativity scene.
-Contrary to popular belief, camels really don't do a lot of spitting.





Camels produce rich milk that can be fed to foals and crias (baby llama) who are sick or injured. Camel's milk soap is full of vitamin C and is great for sensitive skin. You can buy it at the dairy or order it online (website link below).

Mike Rowe of the Discovery Channel's DIRTY JOBS shot a show last Feb. at the Oasis Camel Dairy!! Here's a link to Nancy's blog post about that very cool event.

Here's the website for the Oasis Camel Dairy.

Travis Erwin has stepped down as our My Town Monday leader. Although I'm sure he'll be back with future MTM posts because who can resist the allure of My Town Monday?!

Clair Dickson (Thanks, Clair!) set up a very adorable My Town Monday blog with links to all the participants. Please hop on over and check out everyone else's MTM posts.


Sources:
http://www.ramonajournal.com/default.asp?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ramona,_California
http://www.blendradioandtv.com/Ramona_CA/index.htm
http://www.sdjewishjournal.com/stories/xarchive.php?id=578
http://www.bloggersbase.com/articles/lifestyle/travel/oasis-camel-dairy-ramona-ca/ (including photo credits for all but the top pic)

27 comments:

Maggie May said...

Barrie this is cool! I never knew.

Clair Dickson said...

How cool! I wish I could go to a camel dairy.

Terrie Farley Moran said...

Hi Barrie,

Who knew??

Once you get there, please let us know about your trip to the Oasis Camel Dairy.

Terrie

Kristina P. said...

You always find the coolest things to do!

Teresa said...

Barrie,

This is so cool!! I'm going to suggest to my husband that we go there some time next month before school starts again!!

Teresa

Mac and Cheese said...

It always amazes me that someone thought to take fluid out of any animal and decide to drink it or rub it on one's skin.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Did you taste it???? Just curious. Thanks for the fun post.

kaye said...

very interesting. I've never heard of a camel dairy.

Anonymous said...

I don't know how this has not made the list of things to do with your niece. You know I love camels. I guess you did the post just for me. XO

-YPN

Chocolate Covered Daydreams said...

They are cute! Do they really spit?

Charles Gramlich said...

Lol. we used to milk cows and I know how hard that can be. I don't think I'd want to run a camel dairy.

Bee said...

There is something so otherworldly/exotic about camels! How funny that you have some practically on your doorstep . . .

pattinase (abbott) said...

Several animals scare me. Camels are one of them Kangaroos another. Okay, dogs too and squirrels.

beckylevine said...

Okay, I have lived in California just about 47 years; my dad has lived here 75 years, and I could practically bet even HE hasn't heard of these guys. How do you find all this?

Is anyone making camel-milk mozzarella? :)

Gary Corby said...

A camel dairy...if you put that in a story, no one would believe it.

Very cool.

David Cranmer said...

I'm without a doubt more of a Oasis Camel kind of guy instead of SeaWorld.

Lauren said...

That sounds like a really interesting park. Did you get to taste the milk? How was it?

Barrie said...

Lauren and Tricia and Becky: The milk is animal-grade. So, I don't think I'll get to taste it. Or cheese made from it.

Chocolate Covered Daydreams: I always thought camels spat when the least bit provoked. But, apparently, you have to make them really mad. I say "apparently" because I've never seen one spit. But maybe when I'm at the dairy....

David: You should come to San Diego and do both SeaWorld and the camel dairy!

Lainey-Paney said...

Now this is cool & different. A camel dairy....who knew?

Caryn Caldwell said...

So cool! I've always loved camels since they look so improbable, so I loved reading about them - especially the trivia.

debra said...

Wow. I never would have thought of a camels' milk dairy. Ever. In a million years. Pretty cool.

laughingwolf said...

what's next... whale milk? :O lol

good'un, thx barrie :)

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

A camel DAIRY. Who knew?
Once I rode a camel, they seem so gentle.

Barbara Martin said...

I never knew either, and will be checking out their soap. Great post, Barrie!

Jobs said...

Cool!!! I want to try that one too! I always dreamed of riding a camel someday just like alladin and jasmine.

K. Eckerle said...

Thanks for listing my blog on the sources list: http://tinyurl.com/afaxop

Thought I recognized those pictures! It is a wonderful place to visit -- for adults and kids alike.

To answer a question posted in comments: No, you cannot try the milk there. In fact, when they pass the pail they ask you NOT to try it as they are not licensed to provide milk to human consumption and if something happened, they could be sued.

The funnest part was watching Gil trying to install the "bra" on the female camel -- the look on the camel's face said it all -- "Get a grip, Gil --- how long is this gonna take???"

Hope you all visit. But they don't have tours every month so you need to call ahead or check their website.

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