Blog: 4 milking shells
On the fourth day of Christmas, the Dairy Man gave to me: four milking shells. 3: Three shifts of milking 2: Two orange tractors 1: And a twinkly-light-laden faux tree The Dairy Man and I struggled to find a way to phrase this one. I wanted to call them “the four thingys that suck the milk of out the cow,” but DM didn’t appreciate my lack of technical phraseology. So, when I say “four milking shells,” I’m talking about the four “arms” of the milking cluster/claw that go to the four teats of a cow. Got that? Warning, if... View Blog Post »
Blog: 3 shifts of milking
On the third day of Christmas, the Dairy Man gave to me: three shifts of milking. Day 2: Two orange tractors Day 1: And a twinkly-light-laden faux tree On our dairy, we milk the bovine ladies three times a day: 8 a.m., 4 p.m., and 12 midnight. Each shift runs for approximately 3-4 hours and each cow spends an average of 15 minutes in the parlor. While the cows are hanging out in the parlor, we are fluffing up their sand beds, cleaning their stalls, and piling up some food for a post-milking snack. The Dairy Man milks three... View Blog Post »
Blog: 2 orange tractors
On the second day of Christmas, the Dairy Man gave to me: two orange tractors 1: And a twinkly-light-laden faux tree. As you might remember, I recently learned that we have not one, but TWO big orange tractors. These pumpkin-hued twins stay busy from spring to fall hauling manure to the fields. They boast air conditioning, padded seats, GPS technology, and one even has a satellite radio! Modern farming, I tell ya. It’s not easy being a dairy man. For more adventures from an urbanite learning to live the life of a modern farm wife, visit ModernFarmWife.com.... View Blog Post »
The 12 Days of Christmas, dairy style
Yesterday, I unintentionally wore green earrings and red shoes at the same time. It wasn’t long before someone in my office said, “Red and green, huh? Somebody must be ready for Christmas!” Embarrassing. But um, yes. Somebody is ready for Christmas. I’m downright jolly, even if it’s just accidental. More evidence? - I’ve been listening to Christmas music since November 21 (thus breaking my rule to “never be one of those pitiful people who rock out to Trans-Siberian Orchestra before Thanksgiving”). - I am hopelessly addicted to candy cane Hersey... View Blog Post »
Blog: Nothing gold can stay
The following blog post was written by Jessica Folkema, also known as the Modern Farm Wife. Visit ModernFarmWife.com for more adventures from an urbanite learning to live the life of a modern farm wife. Nature’s first green is gold Her hardest hue to hold. Her early leaf’s a flower; But only so an hour. Then leaf subsides to leaf. So Eden sank to grief, So dawn goes down to day. Nothing gold can stay. Yes, indeed. November’s got this farm wife feeling melancholy. This time of year is cold, gray, and somehow urges me to eat chocolate. Things are dreary now, but I’m looking forward to... View Blog Post »
Blog: Make hay while the sun shines
This is a post I’ve been meaning to write at three different points this summer. Not coincidentally, that is the exact number of times the Dairy Man and company have cut hay. Now, as we start thinking about our fourth and final hay cutting of the season, it’s finally time to explain this crazy process. Get ready for me to drop some serious ag-knowledge on you. Three to four times a summer, I lose my husband to the hay monster. I’m happy to say that hay cutting only lasts a few days (as opposed to a few... View Blog Post »
Blog: Wrapping up a corn(y) harvest
In farming, there are essentially two periods of complete insanity each year. Sure, there are little sprinkles of craziness between the two, but planting and harvesting (in my mind, at least) are the busiest times of year on the farm. We (again, I’m using this pronoun loosely) plant corn every spring. The process typically takes a few weeks and the days are long, long, long. The Dairy Man will spend hours upon hours in a tractor. I see him for brief meals on the go, or I don’t see him until he’s crawling into... View Blog Post »
Blog: Woman vs. farm: On being a farm wife
My Dairy Man spends a lot of time out on the dairy. Like, a lot. He usually hits the dirt around 7 a.m. and I see neither hide nor hair of him until 8 or 9 p.m. The time between when I get home from work and when I see the hardworking farmer can be a lonely time. In the first few months of our marriage (harvest time), it was actually much worse. I resented it. I felt like I barely had a husband. When he finally got home, we would scarf down a quick dinner, spend 20-30 minutes catching up,... View Blog Post »
Blog: When it reeks to high heaven...
Marrying the Dairy Man has inexplicably changed my vernacular, my vocabulary, and the stories I relay without a second thought. I am often shocked at the things that come out of my mouth. Seconds after nonchalantly finishing a sentence with, “…and that’s how the cow broke out of the barn,” I realize, with startling clarity, that I am slowly becoming desensitized to the things city slickers find abnormal. I chat about feed prices. I regale mildly interested coworkers with tales of mischievous cattle. I utter words like “artificial insemination,” “TMR,” and “manure” without skipping a... View Blog Post »
Blog: That’s just not natural
It’s the age-old question: “Tell me, Dairy Man, where do cows come from?” To find the answer, the Dairy Man forced encouraged me to watch the “Dairy Cow Midwife” episode of Dirty Jobs. Needless to say, my delicate sensibilities will never be the same. I may be a farm wife, but there are certain aspects to my husband’s job that I don’t want to know anything about. Before that fateful episode of Dirty Jobs, I had some vague ideas about artificial insemination but had always managed to push those disturbing thoughts out of mind. The less I knew... View Blog Post »
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