Have I not introduced you to the newest members of our farm yet? Meet Suki, (a Jersey), and her sweet little doe-eyed calf.
Suki moved into our barn about a week ago. No, she's not ours, but yes, she sort of is. Let me explain.
Suki belongs to one of my dearest friends who just moved into our valley. Because having a close friend and other homeschoolers living nearby wasn't awesome enough, my friend asked if we'd like to share her cow.
Let me say that again: she wants to share her cow with us. Just because. How amazing is that?
And so we said yes. Of course! Goodness me! Yes!
And that was that. Suki came to stay.
Pete and I have contemplated having a milk cow for years. But two things stopped us from moving forward with that dream. 1. The every-single-day-no-matter-what commitment of milking and 2. too much milk!
We have long loved the idea of cow-sharing as a solution to both of these points, but the perfect situation hadn't fallen into our laps until last week.
Now every other morning we head down to the barn for hand milking this golden-hearted gal. Sometimes I go alone, sometimes Pete goes alone, and often (usually) we embark one or more child in tow.
Like everything it's been a crash-course in homesteading. When should we separate the calf each day? How can we fatten this lady up after a lean winter? Why is there no cream on this milk? Because my friend wants to share the cow in every way, including making decisions about her care.
And so we're reading books, searching on-line, talking to friends (the best resource of all), and then getting to work.
We've all learned so much in this first week of having a family cow. (Including yesterday's interesting physics experiment involving the propulsion of liquid from a pail when firmly kneed by a large bovine. Photo evidence here.)
Today we're ordering cheese cultures, making mozzarella and ricotta, yogurt and ice cream, and dreaming of all the raw milk delicacies that we will produce this summer.
Oh, yes. This funky little homestead just got even more delicious.