Yesterday and last night we had a major winter storm. The day started out with light snow. Then it moved to rain. We had over one inch of rain before it turned back to snow/ice over the night.
This is what Jon and Lisa woke up to:
You can see the weight of the ice damaged some trees and a river is running through the back yard. Some of our calves got spooked last night and were out this morning. We are not sure what happened, but the sound of the breaking trees might have done it. Also, our dog, Boo, completely chewed through the wall in our mud room.
A kind of day like today calls for only one thing:
We have about four inches of snow on the ground now. The kids were super excited to go sledding. I couldn’t keep them still to take a decent picture.
I also got a picture of our last calf until February!! She is nice and warm in her calf jacket.
Filed under family, farming
This cold weather is going to keep a few of us stuck indoors this weekend. If you have small children like me, the days can get quite long. I have a project idea that involves playing with all the new snow, making a cool treat and learning a little about dairy farming. The best part is that you can stay warm!
Ice Cream in a Bag:
- 1 tbs sugar
- 1/2 cup whole Organic Valley Milk
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 4 tbs salt
- 1 small, sandwich size ziplock bag
- 1 large ziplock bag
- snow or ice cubes
- Mix the sugar, milk and vanilla together in the small ziplock bag.
- Fill the large ziplock bag halfway full of snow or ice
- Add the salt to the large bag.
- Place the small bag inside the large bag and zip the large bag shut (press out extra air)
- Wrap the large bag in the towel
- Shake for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the milk mixture hardens (if snow melts in that time add more)
- Remove the small bag from large bag (discard large bag)
Learn more about ice cream and dairy farming while you shake your bags:
Ice Cream Fun Facts
Dairy Food Fun Facts
I am not looking forward to venturing out in this weather today and feeding calves and heifers. I shouldn’t complain, Jon has been up since 5am and Tim since 6am, fighting the snow and the cold. And besides the animals depend on me. Without me to feed them and break the ice from their waters, they would be very sad.
We take extra care of our animals in weather like this. Our calves are all snuggled tight in their straw bedded calf hutches. With their thick winter fur coats, they stay nice and cozy. Our smallest babies will wear a “calf jacket” until they grow thicker fur. Sometimes, I wish I could jump in with them. Our heifers have their straw bedded shed. They will snuggle together in their groups until we come to feed them. Our mommas that are about to give birth will stay in our barn in a straw bedded maternity pen. They will access to water and feed all day long.
We take extra special care of our milk cows. When the temperature dips near or below zero we worry about frostbite on their udders. After we milk them, instead of the usually post dip, we will cover their udders with an organic cream that fights bacteria and provides a layer of protections against the cold. After milking, the cows are sent back to their “beach” (our sand bedded Coverall building). There they can lay in comfort until the next milking.
Really, the only things that get cold on our farm in this weather is us farmers.
Hope you are staying warm!
Heifers in Their Supper Hutch
Calf warm in her hutch
The Cows' Beach