I submitted an entry a few weeks ago in a contest over at Spirited Rose. She’s running a contest through March 15th to Win a Free Jersey Heifer calf! There’s still time left if you want to join the contest, too. At her blog, she’s got some great information on cows, milk, and cheesemaking, and she raises some beautiful registered Jerseys!
Whether or not I win, I thought I’d share.
“Why I love farming… (This may be a typical response, but it’s mine!)
I love the country- the fresh air, the brown dirt, and the green things; the rhythm of the seasons, the beauty of the sunshine, rain, and snow, the everyday miracles in everything that grows! The “good” tired after a day of hard work outside, the taste of home grown, and the look of freshly canned fruits and veggies neatly on the shelf. The satisfaction of feeding my family or giving a gift that came from my own backyard and kitchen. I’d rather watch cows or horses in the neighbors yard than any TV program out there- I’m pretty sure my chickens will be even MORE fun to watch!
We had a milk cow as a kid, as well as some beef cows, pigs, and chickens. I remember helping at times to hand milk that pretty speckled roan milking shorthorn cow. We had the privilege of watching new calves being born. We made butter sometimes in an old Daisy churn. I loved to read Little House on the Prairie and wanted to train oxen. I remember going to my grandma’s house and running to the barn to see the new calves, pet them and let them suck my hand. I remember helping collect eggs from the coop, her colorful flock, and watching my step because of those free range chickens. And helping with all that fragrant scratchy hay…. I loved corn on the cob fresh out of the garden, and it is still what I often request for my birthday dinner now. I remember spending hours snapping beans, peeling tomatoes, cutting corn off the cob, slicing peaches, hulling strawberries, picking blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries, and pressing cider… I want my kids to (fondly) remember things like that!
I want my three little girls to know where their food comes from and to know the work that goes into getting it. To taste the flavors you can’t buy. I want them to learn to be good stewards of the land and to treat the creatures from which they enjoy produce with care. To experience responsibility of more than themselves. To find enjoyment in something other than toys, video games, or money. I want to be able to share the bounty of my homestead with my family and friends. I don’t want to feel guilty about how an animal was treated to provide my dinner, or to have regrets about what ELSE might be coming in that package from the store.
We’ve started our small homestead with a garden and some berry bushes, and I’m looking forward to chicks this spring and hopefully a couple ducklings. Sometime we’ll planting a little orchard, and someday we’ll be consuming milk (and some milk products) from our OWN cow, not the usual 5 gallons a week from the store. I’ve tried a little cheese making with limited success, but we’re REALLY good at making homemade ice-cream! Maybe even a few pigs will join us down the road.
If little Amethyst came to our home, she would be raised to be a milk cow for our family. She would have a home in our (yet to be built by us) barn on our 5 1/2 acres of old cornfield in Western New York. She would eventually have some Dexter sisters to keep her company, too. Our girls (2 1/2 year old twins and a 14 month old) would be raised with her. She’d also get some treats from the garden grown especially for our animals. Best wishes for that little girl’s future, wherever she goes!”