Why We Keep a Family Cow

We got Daisy, our full-size Jersey, a year ago. We had been discussing getting a cow for a couple years when the farm where we had a herd-share called to say they were looking for a new home for Daisy. Daisy was 3 years old at the time and had just freshened with her first calf a month or so earlier. The problem for the farmer was she was milking from only 3 teats – no mastitis – just no milk from one quarter. She seemed perfect for us since there are only 2 of us and we don’t need that much milk.

The day came when I went to meet Daisy and see if we would be a good fit. Without any coaxing she walked right up to me and licked me in the face! Yuck – her tongue was rough like a cat tongue and slobbery – but I instantly fell in love with her. A few weeks later we loaded her in the trailer and brought her home. She quickly settled in and the milk started flowing into the refrigerator!

Finally I was able to make all the dairy products I had been dreaming about. Growing up on a farm in the mountains of West Virginia I was used to all the homemade natural dairy products that I could now make myself! Sadly my grandparents both passed away several years ago and with them the knowledge that I needed to use all this milk and cream. Of course the butter making was easy, but what about everything else? I wasted a lot of milk trying to make things that tasted as good as what I remembered but have finally achieved the results I wanted. Maybe not making them the way my grandmother did – but just as good none-the-less.

Nothing beats fresh buttermilk, homemade ice cream, yogurt, sour cream and cottage cheese. I can feed my family healthy dairy products that I make (with Daisy’s help of course). I know what the cow that produces the milk eats and know that no hormones or antibiotics taint her milk.

Published on Jun 5, 2014

Grit Magazine

Live The Good Life with GRIT!