We sold off all of our Jersey girls in the spring, keeping just this one lovely lady, Sunshine. It’s been nice, having fewer chores to do in the barn. It’s made it easier for me to be the mother I need to be to my two littlest monkeys, and so I don’t regret that decision, but I do miss having all those cows around. And I’m going to miss having milk for the next couple of months! Sunshine has been pretty light lately, and milking very poorly in the evening, so we’ve given that one up altogether. She’s getting milked just once a day now, and it won’t be long until she’s pretty well dried up. Then, we’ll all be milkless until February. (More like March, probably, but the time she calves and we get through the colostrum.)
We only have a few gallons of milk going out each week, which is what made the decision to lighten our herd so easy. At one time, we had nearly twenty shares sold, but when Fort Knox downsized, we lost most of our customers. It’s a shame, because – and I’m really sorry to have to say this – money makes the effort worthwhile. With no financial motivation, we quit doing the work, which makes our product unavailable to future customers. No milk, no cheese, no butter, no eggs, no chicken. We provide for our own needs and only sell whatever we can’t use. (With a family of eleven, that isn’t much!)
If you can, support a small family farm! Buy that CSA garden share, pay a little more for that pastured pork, splurge on those beautiful farm-fresh eggs. The expense to you is really minimal, the quality is out of this world, and it means an awful lot to that farmer.