Thursday, July 24, 2014

Downsizing from Dairy


With only two milk cows left, I guess I can't call this place a dairy farm any more. Of course we do milk old Neon Moon, for the house and for the calves, and some day Bama Breeze will have that calf....but there is no hungry herd waiting in the barn any more.



Thus I changed the template of this blog...finally...to reflect that...and took off the "not your average stay at home mom..." part too. Coming up on the ninth anniversary of the day I decided that it would be fun to blog. Guess you could call me a stay at home grandma now.



This does not mean that agricultural activity has ceased at Northview Farm. We are as busy as ever, I swear. The boss is making hay between the rain storms, and has managed to keep most of what he has on hand from getting rained on...quite an accomplishment this year. He has always made good hay. 

Lots of gardens. Lots of woodchucks. They are eating all our beets!!!! We picked peas and beans yesterday before the storm and had them with dinner. Yum.

The kids have the place full of poultry, including turkeys, chickens, and guinea fowl....and of course, the old peahen.

 You should have seen us the other night when the red sex link hen decided to dump all her brand new guinea keets out in the yard and abandon them.


It was evening chore time, calves to feed, the cow to milk, the pipeline to clean and sanitize...when the drama happened.

The poor little keets were just hatched, some of them still damp, and they could not take even a few minutes without heat. Thus Becky put them all in her shirt while the rest of us ran for.....stuff.....

A pair of light bulbs in a holder that we use to keep the milk pump from freezing in the winter. A lead cord. Newspapers. Wire. Etc. Etc.

Within a very short time an emergency brooder was built, and most of them survived and thrived.....although it does puzzle me every time I come downstairs in the dark and see the light in the heifer barn.

There are plans for other animals, as  time allows. We have always raised good pork, and we have two cows to supply milk. The kids want lambs. I love sheep, but the boss is not enamored, so that is on hold for a bit but....

Other than taxes and paying off the remainder of what it cost us to make milk the years after 2009, we run this place very cheaply. A good part of day-to-day living expenses could probably be paid with the income from diversified livestock. Or we can eat them ourselves. Even when we couldn't afford to butcher a beef and were living on game that awful winter, we ate well.....

So anyhow, things have changed, but they have remained the same too...



6 comments:

jan said...

I had a feeling that when the cows went, you would still be as busy as ever. So love your spirit and the daily visits through these long years.

Cathy said...

Great pictures of the good life there at Northview.

Terry and Linda said...

I so understand the move away from and the move toward...we sure have done our share over the years. Next year I think we will 'change' again as Terry says he is done with farming...I wonder though.

Linda
http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com

threecollie said...

jan, guess it is just natural or something, because we just keep finding more to do. Plus stuff from the dairy era is still around to haunt us.

Cathy, thanks

linda, I hear you! My favorite farm other than this one went up for sale yesterday.....quite a game changer. Take care

ellie k said...

I love fuzzy baby chicks. We used to order them from the hatchery and they came in the mail. 100 peeping chicks ready to get out of that box and run around. They grow so fast and then not so cute but very tastey.

threecollie said...

ellie, me too! Used to love to go to the Post Office to pick ours up and hear all that cheeping. I am still so attuned to the sounds of distress from baby chicks that I hear everything that goes on in the little coop behind the house. And I have discovered that I love little turkeys.