Downsizing

Penelope feeds a bottle to our Jersey-Angus heifer.

Penelope feeds a bottle to our Jersey-Angus heifer.

We’ve been milking our beautiful Jersey cows for seven years now, and we’re sorry to say it’s time for us to downsize our herd. We’ve never been very big, milking at most three cows, but it has been enough to serve twenty to thirty shareholders in addition to our own large family. Alas, with Fort Knox being mostly vacant, and our farm being located inconveniently far from anything else anybody might want to visit, we no longer have very many clients. In light of that, and the demands of our youngest two children, we’re downsizing to just one milking cow. We’ll still be able to serve the very few shareholders we have, and would be able to take on a few more if no other source is located, but we’ll also have less protection from the things that can go wrong with a dairy cow. That means that if our cow suffers an illness or mastitis or an injury, we won’t have a back-up cow in production, and weekly pickups will be affected as they never have before.

When we first began with the cows, our oldest child was thirteen and it seemed like we had forever. But children grow, and our two oldest are now out doing their own thing in the wide world. The third is getting ready to begin her own grown-up life, too, and there are always fewer hands, but never less work. It has become too much of a burden, too much of a distraction to mind the business and the children. We prefer the children, naturally, and since our only goal with the business was to feed the animals so that our out-of-pocket expenses were minimized, the children come out on top again. Anyway, feeding one or two cows is much less expensive than feeding the six, plus two calves, we have on farm this winter.

Instead of trying to run a business, we’re returning to our original homesteading vision. We have most of fourteen acres at our disposal, and I have always wanted to fill our front fields with orchard trees, grapes and berries. We’ve wanted to dabble in sheep and goats. (The goats might be useful in light of baby Henry’s dairy issues…) We might even motivate ourselves enough to actually weed and water a garden. Or maybe not. Gardening is so not our thing.

Anyway, I thought you’d like to know where we stand right now as far as the farm goes! I’m looking forward to the respite, honestly; having babies around in one’s middle-aged years is quite the adventure, and we do not need to make it more difficult than it has to be!

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real} At the End of May

{PRETTY}
blog homeschool graduate

This is my Brenna. We enjoyed a nice, long three day weekend with her, and I think she is so lovely. Except that when she’s not working, she always wears this same tee and these baggy jeans. I’m thinking I might have to be a little less efficient with the laundry so she’ll wear something else.

{HAPPY}
blog evie happy

This is my Evie, and I have to say that I absolutely love having her in my life at this “advanced maternal age”. Motherhood at forty-something is so much more relaxed. I can see the end now, and I don’t hurry things or worry things as much as I did in my less experienced days. It’s so very good, even at three o’clock in the morning. 🙂

{FUNNY}
blog penny funny

This is my Penelope, who received this tiara as a birthday gift on March 10. She has worn it every day since, except for that one day I took it away due to a habit of some very unprincess-like snorting. She only takes it off to wear her bike helmet, and to bathe and sleep. Otherwise, she’s sporting her sparkles.

{REAL}
blog bracelet real

{deep breath} I’m opening an Etsy store. Affiliate links make me feel dirty and spammy and less than, but I do like to make things, so I’m going that more wholesome route. There’s only one thing in my store right now, but I have three more bracelets in different styles to list this afternoon, and other ideas in the works.  I hope it does well!  It’s always kind of scary to put yourself out there, isn’t it?

Well, visit Like Mother, Like Daughter for more {P, H, F, R}!