A big farm decision…

We have decided that we DON’T want a cow.


It was a very hard decision for us… mostly for me.  I have been interested in a small “homestead” breed milk cow for years.  Have read a lot about them, was ready to welcome a lady into our fold.

But then reality hit.

Twice a day milkings…  yearly breeding…  calving…  what to do with 2 to 4 gallons of milk a day… care and upkeep…  hand issues from milking…  pastuerization…. the whole raw milk discussion….

And then there was the fact that we are not big milk drinkers.  We use about a half gallon a week.  Now, we love to make butter and cheese… or at least butter.  Haven’t actually made cheese yet…

Well, I was really ready to consider purchasing a young heifer this year with some of our holiday windfall cash.  I was getting ready for the big jump.  But then something just said…. are you sure?  And it was not just the cost.  It was a lot of things.  Common sense is a good thing sometimes.  It’s that little roadblock in your ambition that makes you pause on the road and think about the route to take.  I pride myself on realizing that life is NOT all or nothing.  There are many many shades of gray in this supposed black and white world.  We may think it’s a cut and dry sort of place, but it’s not.  Not by any stretch of the imagination.

So I thought.  Okay…  I’ve been reading, I’ve been dreaming, and what is the next step?  Well, I bought a cheese making kit!  Haha… yep… $30 on eBay.  Makes 6 kinds of cheese… cheddar, gouda, jack, ricotta, cottage and ah, feta.  Not a huge fan of feta, but hey, that’s okay.  And it comes with everything you need including the rennet and stuff, and the butter muslin and the little form and all that.  Just add heat and milk.  Pretty cool.  We’ll give it a spin and try making cheese and see if we like it.  Seems like a good first step.

And I am going to see if I can’t find a local family that has a milk cow and see if we can work out a little arrangement so that I might be able to buy a day’s milk once a week.  It would help them, a little cash for their labor and feed, and might even give them a little break in the constant milk stream.  It will be plenty for us to make butter, have some buttermilk for the week’s baking, and some for a batch of cheese once a week. I think that would be plenty for the three of us.

And who knows… perhaps we will embrace this half-way point of effort and at some day decide we DO want a cow…  can’t be sure.  But right now, I am thinking that the cost, effort and management of a cow is hugely more than just having a pound of two of butter and some cheese for the week.  I mean, even if we just bought those things, we’re looking at less than $20 max.  But the time investment of twice a day milkings alone is nearly 14 hours…  and then add feed, and the management of the lady, moving her from pasture to stall, and just daily water and care…  wow…  I just am not that motivated at the moment. And neither are the girls.

We have so many other plans that will generate income and enjoyment and will not require such a huge investment of daily chore time.  We are lazy farmers!!!   We enjoy a much more lax sort of schedule and I’m just a little leery of taking on something that is going to really wreck havoc with our routines!

So there you have it.  No cow for us.  At least not now.  And probably not for some time for sure!  In fact, I’m going to take the idea outta my head and see what other thing might creep in and take up the space.  You just never know!

And I hope this might give others permission to pause, consider and even change your mind before embarking on a huge huge project.  Sometimes you just have to tell yourself, not now.  Wait a bit.  It’s okay.

Life doesn’t have to be all or nothing.






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About Mobymom

the banjo player for Deepwater Bluegrass, and the editor of BuckeyeBluegrass.com as well as the main graphic designer of the Westvon Publishing empire. She is a renaissance woman of many talents and has two lovely daughters and a rehab mobile home homestead to raise.


A big farm decision… — 3 Comments

  1. sounds like a well thought out decision.

    Isn’t that why we do all the research we do…? in order to make an informed decision.

    Glad you decided not to for now. Better than getting the animal and then figuring out…hey! We’re not cow people…lol.

    Haven’t commented much lately, but as always, still love reading here at ‘the mobile home woman’


  2. I think it’s a good call…I know that I am bad about romanticizing things and thinking what good ideas they are…until I try putting them into action. lol

    The bottom line is always the same–is it something I love ? We’re not milk drinkers either (man–the only animal that NEVER weans its young), but do love butter and the occasional cheese. So, obviously, a cow is a crazy idea for us. BUt my chickens, on the other hand–a great idea. Useful, practical and fun.

    I love the idea of finding a local to buy milk from. A win-win all the way!