That’s us. It has been two weeks since we sold our beautiful Dutch Belted Cows and we just haven’t gotten used to it yet. I still listen for the milking machine every morning on my way down to the B&B. When I peer out onto the meadows I still expect to see them soaking up the sun, chewing their cud. I already miss the strolls through the fields to walk them to their pastures.
Cows, so gentle and calm, bring so much to your farm. There is something so peaceful and good natured about them, that really adds a special aspect to a farm. Their antics are great conversation starters, and they are wonderfully entertaining. In addition to having such friendly personalities, cows are also incredibly helpful beings. They are silent and thorough mowers of grass. Every blade, every where; the grass from beneath the trees, under your fences. No need for a a string trimmer. After just 2 weeks without them the meadows are knee high in grass, beautiful grass that they transformed over the years from weeds and brush. And their milk; pure, delicious and beneficial in so many ways connected us with many wonderful people, from those who helped us milk the cows to the consumers of our milk.
It’s little things that gently hammer in the reality of our cow-less farm. The first one was that we no longer have to worry about constantly closing gates. The gates to the vegetable garden, to our yard, all of the gates on our property no longer needed to be closed. I have stressful memories chasing escaped cows down the road back to their meadows. I admit that without the responsibly of the cows, I have much more time, less to worry about, as well as the ability to go away for a few days without having to make arrangements of cow-caring well in advance!
When we started our family farm thirteen years ago, I had no idea where to start. We bought a cow, and she led the way. That cow taught us a lot and one thing led to another and we managed to create a lovely farm, probably one of the best things I have ever done. I could have found a job or volunteered in some aspect with our community, traveled with Bill, took up hobbies, gone back to college, who knows, instead I raised dairy cows and I am so grateful for all they gave us and for Bill who went along with all of it and did so much to keep it going and of course Teddy, who gave us the idea in the first place.
Now, it is time for Thyme in the Country to start a new chapter. Although without cows, certainly not without other wonderful countryside adventures.
Our darling cows now live on an Amish Farm in Paradise, Pennsylvania. Doesn’t sound too bad! We are thinking of taking a trip down to visit them in June after Mama has her next calf! We’ll keep you posted on that adventure!
Oh Mary! I was just daydreaming and poking around the Thyme in the Country Facebook page, showing Dave all your pictures, soaking it up, being inspired. I’ve wondered how you’re doing post-cows. I know they meant so much to you. From my brief observation, I could see how they dictated the day on the farm. Thank you for writing about it. It is a privilege to read.
Bridget, David and Conor
You, Bridget are the very first legit comment I have ever had on my blog! So glad you read it. Yes, the cows were such a big deal and are missed by everyone, even the neighbors! We are thinking of getting a small herd of Shetland Sheep to take care of the grass as we find mowing so unproductive. But before I take on a herd of sheep I want to learn all about them by WOOFING this late winter/ Early Spring in the Shetland Islands or some other Shetland Sheep farm. I do hope I can see you the next time you’re in NY. Either I go to Long Island or you and your family come here. Thank you again for reading about us. Sounds like wildlife is a big part of your lives.
What a beautiful post, Mary, and thanks for the offer to include it in the Dutch Belted Bulletin, which I plan to do in the January 2018 edition. Thank you for the part you played in the journey of the Dutch Belted breed. Enjoy your well-deserved leisure.
I knew someone like you would appreciate my musings on my cows. Thank you so much for your comments. If you ever come to NYS to meet up with Corey and the Dutch Belted breeders here, let me know as I would love to meet you in person