So many things going on in my head tonight. Em has been pretty sick and I was here all day trying to take care of her and the kiddos and haven’t felt great myself. Lots of time to think on things, but no closer to any answers. Sometimes I just don’t know what to do.
We had a new baby goat born this week. Em sold it even though it was a nanny because it’s crossed and I want to stay with pygmies for now. Cute lil cuss though, and going to a great home. I never fail to be humbled at the miracle of new life. It gets me every time.
We also had the calf arrive finally. The good news is the cow and calf both are doing good and the cow is already milking great. Yesterday we got about six gallons of milk but today we only got around four. Her bag is still tight though, so she hasn’t completely dropped her milk yet. She’s going to be a good family milk cow. The bad news is she has very short teats in the back, so a bit tough to hand milk. Also the calf is a darn lil bull.
We put him on a bottle and he’s doing ok. Em and the kids are getting attached already although they know he’s got to be ate or sold, we just don’t have room for a bull. Em wants me to cut him and train him to be a draft steer.
I dunno though. I’m getting a little long in the tooth to be breaking a darn steer to pull a cart. Especially since I have no one to help me around here. On the other hand, a bottle bull calf is worth a few hundred at most and a good ox is worth at least fifteen hundred. Humm.
We have got to get a milk refrigerator as soon as possible or we will be wasting a ton of milk. We also need a part for our hand powered mechanical Milker, a few dozen glass milk bottles with lids, bottle carriers, new filters and stainless milking buckets, teat dip, a new strip cup… Dang. Just a lot of stuff.
Last night I had a cold glass of fresh milk from our own cow for the first time in three years. Words can’t describe how good it was. I was raised on raw milk and that store bought crap just tastes like a gallon of water with a few spoonfuls of milk added. Now I can have all the fresh pure milk I want. And soon we will have fresh butter, buttermilk, yogurt and cheeses. And best of all fresh cream to spoon over my garden strawberries!
There are so many things I need to get done here. The farm is right on the cusp of making us a living. We’ve got milk, butter and soon cheeses, we have eggs and several good breeds of heritage poultry. We’ve got lots of pork, poultry and soon sheep and goats we can sell meat shares on. The garden will do great if I ever get time to get it all in the ground. Fruits, nuts and berries are all around the farm. Em is doing great selling all our products and we have still got all out farmers markets and the cottage crafts coming soon like baked goods, candies, soaps, canned goods and such.
I guess I’ll just do it like I’ve done everything else in my life – bow my head and dig in with both feet, grit my teeth and keep swinging until something gives.
I’ve got the best wife a man could ask for, great kids and friends that believe in me and give me moral support. I’m so blessed. And thankful.
Most of all I’m thankful I am able to chase my dreams even if that dream is just to be a simple dirt farmer.