Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Wednesday Dose of Cute: Meet Our Future Milk Supplier

One day old Jersey heifer calf 1 - FarmgirlFare.com

For the past five years (I can't believe it's been that long already) we've been buying our milk from a farm about eight miles down the road. This homesteading family of ten drinks a lot of milk, and they also make their own cheese and butter—something I've been meaning to start doing for, oh, the past five years. The money they make from selling their extra milk usually covers the cost of feed for their very small herd of Jersey cows, so it works out well for everyone.

More below. . .

One day old Jersey heifer calf 2 - FarmgirlFare.com

Every Monday we pick up two gallons of fresh, raw milk that goes straight from cow to milking bucket to the gallon-sized jars that we return empty and clean each week. There are several inches of thick cream on the top of each jar, and the rich, wholesome milk tastes amazing.

We are very spoiled—and very grateful to have this nearby source for milk. As much as I love being surrounded by farm critters, I'm just not up to taking on the huge responsibility of having our own dairy cow. Besides, I have no idea what we would do with several gallons of milk a day. Even with feeding some to the dogs, we sometimes don't even go through our two gallons a week.

One day old Jersey heifer calf 3 - FarmgirlFare.com

In order for a dairy cow to keep giving milk, she needs to be bred and give birth on a regular basis. Our milk pick-up is always the last stop on our weekly 8 to 10 hour errand-running trips into town, with each jar traveling in its own little cooler, snuggled up in a kitchen towel and packed alongside a two-liter plastic bottle of ice. (I learned the hard way that you never want to put two gallon-size jars in the same cooler, no matter what size cooler and whether the jars are empty or full. There wasn't crying, but there was definitely spilled milk—and a lot of broken glass.)

It was dusk when we finally pulled into their driveway this past Monday, our pickup truck loaded down with everything from car parts and cat medicine to another vintage metal cart like this one for my new studio office, only in 50's pale pink (score!). As we handed over our two empty jars we were informed by a grinning young milk maid that we could only have one gallon of milk this week.

One day old Jersey heifer calf 4 - FarmgirlFare.com

Somebody else would be drinking the rest of our order.

More farm life tidbits? Here.
More photos from friends' farms? Here.
More photos from out and about? (some repeats from above) Here.

© FarmgirlFare.com, always up for admiring somebody else's cute—especially when it's only one day old.

18 comments:

  1. Awesome I love your posts and love the future milk producer. Thank you for keeping us human, and supporting kindness....organics and the love of family farming. Your efforts mean alot especially nowadays. Nancy

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  2. Ahhh, so cute!! And yum, fresh creamline milk from a Jersey is the BEST.

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  3. So, are ya'll buying a cow?!? That little calf is sure a cutie patootie! :)

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  4. What memories. My in-laws had farms and we always got to take fresh cream home after the holidays. They cooked everything with cream; roast chicken, beet greens wrapped around bread dough and dill, perogies of course, wild mushrooms and wonderful borscht and fresh dill. There is nothing better than coffee with far cream!! I'm happy I'll be able to see a new calf every year so don't forget bossy's date in the spring!

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  5. So ding dang cute. We have a dairy in town where we buy fresh milk, ice cream and sometimes organic or grass-fed meat. I love that it is just around the corner but having a cow in the barn makes it a few steps closer!

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  6. Hi Everybody,
    My apologies for any cow confusion! This cute little calf won't be coming to live on our farm. She's the newest member of the small Jersey herd that supplies us with milk, so if all goes well, one day we'll be buying her milk. :)

    As for having our own dairy cow, as long as we (thankfully) have this great local source for milk, I don't see that happening anytime soon. We're very spoiled having somebody take on all that responsibility for us. Plus, I have no idea what we would do with several gallons of milk a day! :)

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  7. Hi Farmgirl,
    I enjoy reading your blog and I would like to recognize you by awarding your blog the Versatile Blogger Award. If you would like to accept it, please go to my blog to receive it here:

    http://whitewolfsummitfarmgirl.blogspot.com/2012/02/versatile-blogger-award.html

    If you do not accept blog awards or are unable to read this post, just know that your blog is special.

    Thank you,

    Heidi

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  8. You are so blessed to have fresh milk so close by. It is illegal here and I resent having to drink pasteurized milk. Raw milk is so good and so good for you. It's also fun to be able to see your own milk producer whenever you want LOL!

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  9. Sharing is caring and that baby wants to share with you. So sweet when they are tiny, and raw milk is the best milk available I think.

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  10. Nothing beats the taste and goodness of milk fresh from the source. What a sweetheart addition to the herd. You are one lucky farmgirl, Susan!

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  11. I luv milk cows. Well, I kinda luv beef!!! cows too.

    Cute pictures.

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  12. What a sweet little thing. I love hearing about your life in rural America and the pictures are the icing on the cake!

    You're lucky to have access to wonderful milk. Now make some cheese!

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  13. Precious milk calf! And happy you found a pink cart!!! Cannot wait to see a picture. Love your red one. I love vintage things also so need to be on the look out for one!

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  14. My grandparents had a dairy farm when I was growing up and I got totally spoiled with fresh milk. Then, when my son was young, a fellow student had a dairy and supplied us with fresh milk. When we ran out and I was forced to purchase milk from the grocery store my son would cry, "But I don't LIKE that plastic milk!" That says it all! And way to go on the cart score! I love them - have 3 of them here and in use!

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  15. Beautiful healthy cows - impressive and heck of a lot of work to keep that milk coming, pure and healthy! Thanks for sharing the newest member of neighbor's milk supply team - and you are SO smart for continuing to purchase from them - wouldn't be prudent to add milkmaid to your growing list of titles!

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  16. I miss my cow! I was able to sell the extra milk and cream we didn't need but made LOTS of butter and lots of cheese. I would give my eye-teeth to have access to fresh milk. I am still looking! I love Jerseys .. they have such wonderful rich milk.

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