The Barn Wall
The southern wall in our farmhouse kitchen is made with old wood panels from a barn that used to sit on our farm. That wall is cluttered with paper mache cow heads made in elementary school days, family photographs, awards, cow art, wood carvings, and approximately 17 of my brother's hats. There is not a single framed picture on that wall that is level and in fact some frames overlap other frames.
That wall is home.
And so on this digital wall, if you will, I want to showcase some images (and even videos) of our farm and our family! This is an extension of that southern wall in our farmhouse kitchen, made with old wood panels.
My favorite time of year, when winter's chill finally breaks and the weeds haven't outgrown the plants that were intentionally planted, including the daffodils and crocuses! This is the original barn, now a historic landmark, where my grandpa and grandma began milking cows in the 1950s.
Raking hay to make haylage to feed the cows to make the milk and poop!
When you have an abundance of swiss chard and kale, and the kids at home won't eat them, these bovines sure don't mind the addition to their all you can eat buffet.
Did you know that we work with a registered dietician, but in farm talk, we call him our dairy nutritionist. Ed analyzes the quality of our farm grown forages and balances the diet to meet our cows' needs!
like making lemonade from lemons.
Our dairy farm was started with the intent to produce high quality, nutritious milk. But our cows make a lot of poo as well and so we actually make a value added product on our farm called CowPots! Our cows' manure is digested, composted and formed into biodegradable, plantable pots!
One of my favorite parts of being on the farm is working with my sister! How many careers allow you to do that?
We work with our neighbor farm to get crop work done. By working together we can get 250 acres of corn harvested in 4 days, which allows us to maintain high quality feed for our cows.
Looking west over our new barn, our John Deere and mixer wagon and Canaan Mountain. My morning chore is to feed our 350 cows each day.
As a previous Peace Corps volunteer, I never left my hut without my chapstick, Nalgene, a roll of toilet paper, a spare bike inflation and my utility knife. I still have my basic essentials...but now they include a notebook, iphone charger, plaid heels, CowPots and snack bars of cheese!
No matter the temperature, holiday, weather or special events happening that day, we make sure we mix up fresh feed every single day, 365 days/year for our cows. Even on cold, wet, snowy mornings like this.
We are especially lucky that my mom has a bakery. When we're in the middle of harvest (pushing up our corn pile) she delivers us hot, fresh treats!
Some projects take 2, but now it's my little brother who makes sure he's doing the heavy lifting. Working towards putting the 2nd generation in an 'advisory' role to help the next generation with taking on the management. This flat tire was 100% my fault, but luckily I have a brother and a dad to come to the rescue.
Harvesting our hay crop can happen up to 4 times between May and October. This is the view looking south on our home farm. My grandfather farmed these same fields 65 years ago!
When 99% of your herd is the black and white type (Holsteins) you have a tendency to pick on Jersey cows. She's the only Jersey in the herd, and she demonstrates her differences on a daily basis...every other cow walks into her stall, where as Jersey backs in, so that she's facing out when she lays down!
Our cows produce about 2300 gallons of milk each day. And each day the the milk truck driver shows up to take our milk to the processing plant. Did you know that within 48 hours, milk travels from cow to store. That's how fresh it is!
These jackets are as fashionable as they are functional. Keeping our calves warm when cooler temperatures take affect, while making for really good photo ops ;)