We have been blessed to be welcomed by Mr. and Mrs. S, Mr. R’s parents. They live about 10 miles from us and had us out for breakfast shortly after we arrived. We had a great breakfast of French toast made with homemade bread, eggs, and sausage all farm grown. They have been a wealth of information answering all our questions about farming, milking, chickens, gardens, and where to go for what. Our morning over there we got to follow them around while they did chores and see all they did. We also got the opportunity to try it ourselves when we house sat for them one weekend.
Sugarbug is now a master egg hunter and kid catcher. (Baby goats) Mr. and Mrs. S have a beautiful farm by the river that runs much how we want to run our land and home. We will have a little smaller operation as we have less land.
They have a big green house that is attached to the house and of course a garden. Along with the chickens they raise goats and sheep for meat. They have several cows and at least one calf. We really loved the way they do their milking. Cows can give a lot of milk. Some can give up to 10 gallons a day or more. Even with making cheese, yogurt, and ice cream we’d be hard pressed to use that much a day. So they have a calf that they buy and usually raise for meat or another milk cow to sell later. When they want to milk they can separate the calf and milk cow (it’s not always the mom of the calf) for the night and they can milk in the morning. Then when they aren’t able to milk or are away just keep the calf on the cow and the calf keeps her milking. They still get all the milk they need. We did get the chance to try milking and while we did get milk we just were not quite fast enough. (sorry I forgot the camera for the milking) They do all their milking by hand but there are units you can buy to milk a cow for you. This system really frees them up to have some flexibility otherwise you have to milk twice a day.
It’s been great to learn from them and gain a good idea of how we want to set up our land. Sugarbug is doing excellent with the idea of raising cute animals for food. The goats as kids are really adorable and we talked with her about having to kill them for meat when they grew up. She seems to understand and says she wouldn’t mind at all. Sadly while we were watching the farm one baby goat got into trouble and died. Sugarbug seemed to just take it as a fact of life. I think she has the makings of a good farm girl.