Posted by Rich | Posted in Cattle, Milk | Posted on 25-01-2013
Tonight, Benji (our new calf) will have his own pen. We decided to do some milk production management, early on. If we want the most milk from our cow that she is willing to provide with our once-a-day milking routine, we need to separate her and her calf at night. This a practice that has worked well for us with goats and we see no reason why it won’t work with Miss Daisy.
As with goat kids, we have Benji in a pen as close to momma as possible. He will spend his nights in a small pen of his own… but close enough to touch noses with mom. Then, after the morning milking, he will be lead back to Miss Daisy for all the rest of the day’s milk. Then separated again at night.
Posted by Rich | Posted in Cattle, Cheese, Milk, News, Photos | Posted on 23-01-2013
It’s been 3 days since our cow has calved and we now have 3+ gallons of milk (from this morning’s milking). It’s the first milk that we’ll be keeping. The milk looks good. Carol’s calling it our “white gold.”
Being it is the first milk from Miss Dairy, we’re trying to decide what to do with it or what to make of it. Do we make cheese, Kefir, butter, ice cream or just drink it? Drinking 3 gal. of milk is not an option, especially when we still have over a gallon of raw milk that we purchase from Farmer Mike, not too long ago.
Miss Daisy’s first milk to keep
We’re very excited to see where the cream line is, once the butterfat rises to the top. I guess we’ll know tomorrow.
Posted by Rich | Posted in Cattle, Milk, News, Photos | Posted on 20-01-2013
On the coldest day of the year (statistically, the coldest day in four years), our Jersey/Lineback cross cow had her calf. A few days earlier, our Minnesota winter temperatures were comfortable… in the mid-30′s. But on this day, our high temp. reached -8°F. It was so cold that our wireless weather station displayed ‘OFL‘ for a wind-chill reading. ‘OFL’ is code for ‘Outside Factory Limits‘. The factory limit is -40°F.
Miss Daisy gave birth to a nice sized bull calf – not big, but not small either. With several name suggestions from friends & fans on our Facebook Page, the name Benji seems to stick.
our new calf Benji
Posted by Rich | Posted in Baking, Cattle, Meat | Posted on 22-10-2012
We had planned to start this recipe yesterday, but… well… that didn’t work-out. So, just before Carol started supper tonight, she found a few minutes to mix-up the beef, cure and spices for our home-made beef sausage.
More of our favorite recipes are found here: Recipes
This beef summer sausage is a flavorful homemade cured meat, on the dry side. It gets formed into rolls, baked, and sliced. The recipe is as follows:
Homemade Beef Summer Sausage
- 5 pounds very lean ground beef (we used our 92% lean, grass-fed beef)
- 5 heaping teaspoons of Morton’s “Tender Quick” curing salt
Posted by Rich | Posted in Cattle, Milk, News | Posted on 14-07-2012
I guess it all depends on who you ask. Just don’t ask Carol or Madison.
Yesterday, we received two loan approval letters from the USDA’s Farm Service Admin. They approved our loan request(s) for setting up an organic dairy. We requested a 1 yr $10,000 loan for operation expenses as we transition from crop production to dairy. We also requested a $120,000 loan for buying Certified Organic dairy cattle and some basic hay & silage equipment… as well as everything we need to outfit a milk-room (bulk tank, compressor, vac. pump, 2″ pipeline, milker units, etc…). I think Carol and Madison are both excited… but anxious at the same time. Once we have the dairy operating, it’ll be a HUGE lifestyle change.
Posted by Rich | Posted in Cattle, News, Photos | Posted on 07-04-2012
Since the 5th of the month, we’ve been watching two of the farm’s Scottish Highlanders for signs of calving. 9 months ago, on June 28th, we brought home our new bull, Eldorado. Well, we’re happy to announce that one of our big red cows (Sammy) dropped the first calve of the season. She apparently had a trouble free birth. When found, the calf was dried-off, had pooped and was quick getting to his feet. That’s right “his” feet. Sammy had a bull calf.
The 1st Calf Of The Season
Last year, Sammy wasn’t so lucky. Although she, again, had the first calf of the season, she delivered prematurely and the calf was dead. She had a little heifer calf – the same color as this year’s calf. So, even though she had a bull calf this year, we were excited to see a living, breathing and on-time calf. We’re thinking of naming him Conway. The name is Gaelic in origin, and the meaning of Conway is “hound of the plain“. In our area that would be a reference to a coyote, which we have plenty of.
Posted by Rich | Posted in Cattle, News | Posted on 05-04-2012
June 28th of last year, we purchased Eldorado, the farm’s AHCH (American Highland Cattle Association) registered Scottish Highland bull. It was that same day when we turned him out with our cows and older heifers.
Tomorrow, and the following weeks, we will be watching for calves.
Posted by Rich | Posted in Cattle, Milk, News | Posted on 01-03-2012
As many of you know, Carol & I have been toying with the idea of putting a commercial dairy [back] on the farm as a business enterprise. The girls (Carol and daughter Madison) have been milking goats on a small-scale for a few years now. Last year we even tried milking the farm’s 16 yr old Scottish Highlander cow – we didn’t get too far, as it was obvious our old cow couldn’t produce enough milk for both her calf (Mac) and us. We’ve even tried milking sheep. These animals have all been milked by hand – no machines. We do have milker units and a small vacuum pump, but decided our dairy critters didn’t produce enough milk to warrant the effort and expense of cleaning the equipment everyday. Hands are easy to wash.
What a difference a year makes. Last year at this time, those of us who call west-central Minnesota home had 3 ft of snow on the ground already. This year we have none. When we do get snow, it’s only a dusting and the above normal temps, quickly melt it.
Our area has a 90% chance of “enjoying” a brown Christmas. A white Christmas is defined [by our local TV weather guys] as having at least ½” of snow on the ground (often referred to as snow-pack). If you view our webcam from time to time, you can plainly see that we have no snow. Any white we experience is usually nothing more than the frost each morning.
We have taken the next step towards being a sustainable farm/ranch. After 3 seasons of grazing smaller herds, this fall we have decided to add another 24 acres of paddocked pasture, north of the creek. This will give us an approx. total of 85 acres of hay and permanent pastures for 2012. We have tipped the scales of our forage-to-cropland ratio, in favor of forage (or 56%). If you want to count our temporary, winter pastures you can add another 34 acres. All of our pasture land is Certified Organic.