Monday, March 2, 2009
OK, so I've mentioned before how much I enjoy self-sufficiency... ironically enough, my husband, the original Farmer Boy, is not always completely on board with that idea. He grew up on a large, modern, Red River Valley potato and small grains operation with nary a farm animal in sight. Oh, he does like the thought of having a full freezer and pantry, but when it comes to putting up hay, cleaning the barn or butchering chickens... well, lets just say he is less than enthusiastic.
So imagine my surprise a few weeks back when he mentioned that one of his dealers has a couple bred dairy cows for sale, would we be interested? Me? I'm game to try about anything. These cows are Normandes (a dual-purpose French breed known for their high-fat, high-protein milk and excellent meat quality), bred to a Brown Swiss bull, due to freshen mid-April, and apparently very gentle. Having grown up with beef cows, I've pulled a few calves in my time, and the idea of having milk, cheese and beef so readily available is rather enticing. Our little farm grows grass like gangbusters, and we are long on hay this year...
So... what the heck. We'll give it spin. Like I told my husband, if it doesn't work out, we are not out much money and yet richer for the experience. We don't have to do it forever, but it sure would be fun to teach the girls more animal husbandry, and there is not much cuter than a baby calf. Yes, it will entail (even more) hard work and commitment... but there is little in life worth doing, which does not.