Three cows have calved so far this spring: Delphinium, Honey and Poppy. There is lots of milk, and we still have one or two shares available, but they are going fast!
Sweetheart finally dropped her calf. He was nine days overdue, and a nice, healthy brown-and-white bull calf, Reese by name. In a couple of days, when his mother is done making colostrum, we’ll have some extra shares. Time to start filling the cheese cave again.
Please make sure you email us if you are intending to come for the grazing workshop this weekend (see the onecowrevolution.wordpress.com site for times and fees).
Springtime is good!
Honey presents you with a lovely heifer calf, Rosamystica, and a plenitude of milk; we have four shares available as of right now, and more to come. Call to reserve yours!
Wednesday, March 25, the Annunciation:
February, with its many nights of negative temperatures, is blessedly behind us, and it’s a good thing, too, because the first of the heifers is due to calve soon: Honey, a big half-Jersey/half-Friesian three-year-old, should drop her first calf in the next couple of weeks. Sweetheart, the other Friesian cross, has just been dried off preparatory to calving in early May, leaving just three cows carrying the dairy right now: Sugarplum, Baby Belle and Poppy. All the cows are cleaning up the winter forage and getting some supplementary hay in a sacrifice paddock while we wait for green-up — and may it come soon! We are all ready for some warm weather and a break in dealing with frozen stock water.
Shares are down by about a half gallon right now, to match the low production rate, but will go up again in May and June, evening out the deficit. New shares will be available in late June. Call us for more information or to reserve a share.
Our June grazing workshop has had to be moved back a week to accommodate family commitments; check our classes page at onecowrevolution.wordpress.com for more information.
Our attendance at the RAWMI workshop a couple of weeks ago was interesting and informative. We learned quite a bit about commercial milk production, and were confirmed in the belief that most of the problems sometimes associated with raw milk are in the production method, especially in the pipeline system which it is necessary to use when a farmer is milking a large number of cows. The committed, determined raw milk producers we met there are proof that clean, safe, nutritionally superior milk can be produced commercially, but we are happy to manage your small, community-owned dairy. This way we can focus on intensive management of a few cows and the grass community they inhabit. We thank you for the opportunity!
The dairy cows are out on the front pasture now, after a trying week in the briar-y corner we are trying to groom into good pasture. They are fat and sleek, with the extra plush of winter fur over their shiny under-coats, so the high-carbon diet of the last seven days hasn’t hurt them, but they were clearly relieved when we moved them onto the good grass. The buckets will probably have an extra pound or two in the morning.
We have three new co-owners — always a happy thing — and the dairy room we have been working on since September is now a reality. There is still the trim work and siding to do, but we moved the commercial refrigerator in three days ago, and now co-owners can go through to pick up their milk without passing the dining room table covered with school books and whatever produce we are processing. Soon we hope to have other local products available; stay tuned.
This morning the thermometer in the dairy said thirty-four degrees, but the temperature drops in the last hour before dawn, and when we walked the cows out to their morning paddock there frost made diamonds of the moonlight. Coyotes are coming up close behind the dairy barn; in the silence made of cows’ breathing and the zing of milk into the buckets their howls quaver as though addressed to us personally.
The new hay has the bovine seal of approval; Baby Belle got into the hay room and tore into one light, gray-green leafy bale and we could hardly get her out again.