I hesitate to include this, because our newspaper’s
online archives disappear behind a fee after a mere two weeks, but it was a good article about the challenges of a small family farm (the Salbers
, a member of the Whole Farm Coop

Cows on conventional farms these days can spend most of their lives in barns. Farmers have to grow their feed in cultivated fields, bring it to the cows, then haul away manure to fertilize those fields — not to mention pay for heating the barn.

The Salbers’ cows spend most of each year grazing in the pastures. That means they help themselves to their own meals, and conveniently fertlize the fields by leaving behind their manure. They produce only about half as much milk as barned cows do, but they live two to three times longer. And they are not routinely treated with antibiotics and growth hormones.

As Mike says, "A cow shouldn’t have to milk herself to death to earn a living."


21:31:58 PM

-6°C (21.2°F) Whitewashed with a smooth, even, 1-inch coat of snow. We need a few more coats of primer before we can apply the infinite greens of spring. I was struck today by how good it feels to get a sloppy, wet kiss of 20 degrees after a slap of 10 below.