A milk cow feeds the whole farm
In addition to raising a calf (or two) every year, she gives two to three gallons of drinking milk every day. That translated to six to seven pounds of butter every week along with a gallon or so of yogurt, a couple pints of sour cream, and about six pounds of cheese. There’s enough milk and cream for as much ice cream as we’d like, cream cheese, ricotta, and any other dairy experiment we might have a hankering for.
With the excess milk, whey, and buttermilk from all that dairying, a milk cow will feed several pigs and a whole host of laying hens. Even the grey water saved from rinsing milk buckets and jars provides beautiful fertilizer for garden vegetables and flower beds.
There’s no question that sun + grass + milk cow = food. And lots of it.
Our milk cow mentor Beth Dougherty (onecowrevolution.com) remind us: “But to get all this, you have to want it badly enough to milk a cow, faithfully, at least once, and traditionally twice, a day. No skipping. No feeling tired, run down, sick, or just bored with it. Faithfulness. That’s what’s required. Absolute faithfulness, and, hopefully, a liking for the work. A big price, but not in money.”
If you’re ready to invest the time, energy, stamina, and faithfulness required to keep a milk cow, you’ll be rewarded in spades. We’ve been infinitely blessed here at Belvedere Farms by the addition of Sandy, our Jersey milk cow. We are thankful for her and the abundance she provides every. single. day.
We’re learning as we go and are so excited to share what we’ve learned and what’s working for us as we navigate being stewards of the bounty that is a milk cow. We hope you’ll find the inspiration and resources here that will motivate you to jump right in to your own milk cow adventure and reap the benefits of sun + grass + milk cow.
Whether you’re planning to add a milk cow to your homestead soon, or have a milk cow and the whole host of questions and worries that come with her, or just want to know a little more about what life with a milk cow looks like, we’ve got you covered.
First, download my FREE 23-page
Essential Guide to When Your Milk Cow Gives Birth
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milk cow 101
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You can do this. Let me teach you how.