August 5, 2008

Hey diddle diddle the cat and the fiddle
The cow jumped over the moon.
The little dog laughed to see such sport
And the dish ran away with the spoon.

I said to the farmer, "We want to keep a cow and milk her, me and my friend. We're all soon to have teenagers to feed." And the farmer replied, "We have plenty of cows. No need to buy one. My wife would love to have a fresh cow."

We shop off the pages of a storybook, at this organic farm. The blacksmith and his wife live there. "Come any day. Let's fire up the forge." Sure we have pork. And the cows, sweet Dexters, you'll have to halter break a heifer and wait for her to grow up.

Mothers are pretty good at waiting, knowing exactly how fast they grow. This year we will spend our mornings in a field with a calf. We pour in love, learn how to handle with care, and are soon to be rewarded with fresh organic milk. A fair trade all the way over the moon. I am beyond thrilled.

So we've found a class and a job and a new way of life, all rolled into one sweet misty morning meadow. There will be days, difficult to wake. That's ok. Its just my job. I'm a dairy farmer now. And these children will know where their milk and butter and cream and cheese come from. And they will never forget the smell of the field, the fluff of the fur, the months Mama Cow needs for her calf, the circle, and the possibilities inherent in friendly open inquiry.


rae said...

THAT - is. so. stinking. COOL!

MOM #1 said...


Be sure to post many many details. I'll be living vicariously through you on this one.

Mommylion said...

Wow. Envious and in awe here. But as much as I would love to do something like this, I wonder if I would have the stamina for dairy farming. Isn't that every. single. day. at the crack of dawn sort of stuff?

How amazing though. Blacksmithing, cows, fresh milk... and sunrises are always worth it once your up and in the middle of it all. Congratulations on your new adventure :)

Katherine said...

Yes, milking is an Every Single Day proposition. But that's the beauty of this set up, where we trade labor for milk. We'll have the farmer, our family, and my friend's family. So if anyone needs a vacation or gets sick, it should be easy to get back up. The cow will know us all, and we'll all know the drill. I really think this can work. It is a bit scary - such a commitment as well as actually working with a living cow. But, I plan on needing to feed children for a long time. And milking every third day seems way more pleasant than driving to the store and paying money. If we set it up that way, milking every third day, we should have about two gallons each time. Some of that is cream for butter. Some will be made into cheese. Some days there will be more milk. Some days less. But I think its going to work out really well. It will be a learning experience no matter what. : )

Mommylion said...

"But, I plan on needing to feed children for a long time. And milking every third day seems way more pleasant than driving to the store and paying money."
:) So true.

That set up sounds perfect!

Anonymous said...

My relatives are dairy farmers, family farms, and the cows come first, and become part of the rhythm of the days. It becomes automatic, not even an issue. I always have liked it, the sunshine and wind, the gentle animals, buckets of foamy milk. My cousins lived in the country and I lived in the city, and the world is full of pretty places, but there is nowhere prettier than Wisconsin. Enjoy, K. love, V