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 »
Blog: Where dreams and dairy cows coincide
My childhood was immersed in stories. I read veraciously. I wrote obsessively. I actually got in trouble for reading too much (when I was supposed to be bathing, when I was supposed to be getting dressed, when I was supposed to be sleeping). Super nerdy. As I added facts, literary devices, and vocabulary words to my holster, I began to write my own stories. I wanted to write a novel, become a foreign journalist, publish poems. When I went to college, I had big dreams of the city, journalism, and power suits. I knew the pickings... View Blog Post »
Blog: Happy cows come from…Michigan
Perhaps you’ve seen the ads of blissfully happy bovine frolicking through grassy fields in California. Perhaps those cows are happy, but I would like to argue that our Michigander cows are just as content. Usually a cow spends most of her time in a barn. It’s shaded, cool in the summer, warm in the winter, and she can take naps in the sand. Perhaps a cow cavorting through a pasture (as depicted in certain advertisements) seems like a more idyllic life, but my limited experience tells me that cows prefer to live in a barn... View Blog Post »
Blog: Eat, drink, and give milk
The Dairy Man and I aren’t diet fanatics, but we do pay attention to what we eat. Fruits and veggies are a must. Processed foods are limited. French fries, soda, and candy are seldom (though all bets are off during jellybean season). A balanced diet is very important. Cows aren’t entirely different. My Dairy Man pays close attention to the diet of our bovine ladies to make sure that they stay healthy, happy, and high on the milk producing charts. Before I moved to a dairy, I thought all farm animals ate …well… hay. That’s the... View Blog Post »
Blog: Step into my parlor
An introduction to the life of a dairy farm wife wouldn’t be complete without getting to know the parlor. No, I’m not talking about a sitting room with Victorian wingbacks and frilly curtains. I’m talking about a parlor with swinging gates, long rubber tubes, and a thick layer of warm manure on the concrete floor. As you may have surmised, a large part of this whole dairy operation is milking the cows. This takes place in a milking parlor. A city slicker like me had little idea how dairy farming actually works. My image of a straw-hatted... View Blog Post »
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