Thursday, July 30, 2015

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

The leader of the Egyptian Geese started her training class early this morning as we began feeding calves. 
It was obvious by the response to the leader's call, they had been through this drill before as they marched from the feed bunk to the edge of the grass.

These are just one of the many birds that we see and enjoy  everyday on the dairy farm. 
                   I'm thankful that our farm land provides a natural habitat for many of God's creatures.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Faith of a Farmer

I never cease to be amazed by the faith of a farmer as I watch the planter 
moving back and forth across every field.  
Other than an unexpected downpour, nothing stops the planting process. If the machinery breaks, you fix it. If you miss lunch, your wife brings it to you in the field.  If employees don't show up for work, the planting is delayed until all our cows are fed and cared for, but the planting is going to continue as planned.
It may even continue into the darkness if needed. Thank goodness for tractors with lights!

Although the look of the family farm and the technologies have changed, the same values of caring for the land and animals still exist. In fact, 97 percent of U.S. dairy farms are family owned and operated, often by multiple generations of the family.

It's the dreams and determination of a farmer in combination with faith  that provides
 the food on our table and milk in the refrigerator.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Dairy Q&A


How much water does a dairy cow drink?


At least a bathtub full every day!

It's a little more complicated than that but it does give you a picture of the amount needed for a grown cow. The complicated part is that cows not only drink water but their needs are also met by  water that is contained in their feed, as well as from metabolic water produced by the oxidation of organic nutrients.

The amount of water lost from a cow's body is influenced by the animal's activity,air temperature,humidity,respiratory rate,water intake, feed consumption, milk production and other factors.
The heat and humidity we are experiencing in Northwest Arkansas definitely makes a difference in how much water each cow will drink!

On our farm, water is provided in water tanks located in convenient locations for the cows in every pasture and inside the feed barn.
 It's our job to make sure that clean,fresh water is available everyday. 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

With excessive amounts of rain in May and June, I wasn't sure we would plant garden but we finally managed to plant the garden in a  narrow window of dry days. 
Mother was determined that we would have corn--so, we have corn!
It's a partnership garden--I run the tiller and she pulls the weeds.

I'm thankful for the inch of rain we received early this morning 
 on the garden and our crop fields!

                                                               Rain makes happy farmers!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Mountain Blackberry Cobbler

A generous neighbor presented us with a gallon of blackberries late Friday night. It was a complete surprise and brought a flood of childhood memories of going to the blackberry patch down in the pasture  with my grandparents on hot,steamy July days.

When going to the blackberry patch,   I was always cautioned to watch for snakes but not one word of caution about those chiggers! It was well worth the discomfort for the reward of blackberry cobbler, dumplings or jelly that followed those picking experiences.

 I don't think I will ever match my grandmother's  blackberry cobbler, but Mountain Blackberry Cobbler comes pretty close. The recipe is found in the Junior League of Springfield,Missouri's cookbook, Sassafras!. 

Mountain Blackberry Cobbler

2 3/4 cups flour
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup shortening

2 quarts fresh     
   washed and drained 
1/4 cup butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. To prepare crust,mix 2 cups flour,1/4 cup sugar, salt and shortening with a fork until crumbly. Add enough water to make a soft dough. Divide dough into 2 parts with slightly more for bottom crust. On a heavily floured board, knead dough until smooth. Roll each portion of dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Arrange larger portion of dough on bottom of a greased 8x10-inch baking dish. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix 1 cup sugar and 3/4 cup flour with a fork. Pour berries into pastry-lined baking dish. Sprinkle flour and sugar mixture over berries; dot with butter. Place top crust over berries and crimp edges. Cut slits in decorative pattern in dough to release steam. Bake 1 hour. Serve warm. Serves 10 to 12.

                     Serve with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Urban Farm Girl

After a lifetime of city living in Bentonville, my mother has moved to the farm with us. 
We're providing her with a lot of new experiences in this transition from urban to rural living.

This afternoon, Mother  took her  first ride in the  big tractor  while Cody
 was preparing the field for planting the fall silage crop. 

                                    Although she has heard us talk about what we do on the farm,
                          there's no substitute for experiencing it first hand from the cab of the tractor!

The smiles say it all...

life is good down on the dairy farm!   

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

On  hot,humid afternoons, these pregnant cows 
  love this   shady  resting place next to the house. 
I planted the pine trees along the fence twenty five years ago never thinking that the bundle of twigs I received from the Arkansas Forestry tree program would live!

                     I'm thankful for these pine trees that provide shade for the dairy cows that we love
                   lift my weary spirit as  I walk across the yard listening to their song in a gentle breeze.