Milking It For All It's Worth
Plus! Exciting Announcement!
You deserve to have and hold boundaries. It is a gift to be able to give, but also a gift to know when to put your needs first. Don’t forget to take care of yourself this hectic holiday season. — Benni, who is trying to learn this skill.
Here’s What’s Happening At Good Spirits Farm
First! Exciting News!!!! I am taking the plunge on shipping honey! I ordered bottles, shrink-wrap seals, and boxes, so I should be ready to go with filling and shipping orders this weekend. I’m selling it in 32-ounce and 16-ounce containers. The 16-ounce containers are $12.40 + shipping. The 32-ounce containers are $22 plus shipping. If you are interested in honey, email me with your zip code and how much you want, and I’ll let you know how much shipping will be: firstname.lastname@example.org. (My research shows generally around $10 for domestic shipping.) Orders that go out this weekend should arrive before Christmas!
(Note, it will NOT come in a glass jar because those suckers are heavy and it would cost a fortune to ship! I hate single use plastics, but I couldn’t figure out another way at my very small scale.)
Now onto farm news:
About two months ago, I noticed that Benni’s calf from last year was still nursing. That wasn’t ideal, but since she’s not going to have any more babies, I wasn’t super worried about it.
In the past, she’s always kicked her baby off the teat when she was ready. But then, a couple weeks later, I noticed she was dropping weight. Two weeks ago, I realized why: Petey, a fully grow, fully weaned steer, had decided that since the milk bar was open, he might as well take a little sip. Poor Benni the Benevolant was feeding another cow bigger than her plus her baby. With winter upon us, I knew I had to fix this situation—stat. Producing milk is a VERY energy-intensive activity!
So, last week, when I moved the herd from one paddock to the next, I slammed the hotwire down before Bennie could pass through it. I brought out a bale of my fancy horse hay, and waited for her to freak out about being separated from her friends. Then, a funny thing happened: She realized she was alone and almost breathed a sigh of relief. She didn’t moooo for her friends or try to cross the hotwire line. She set right to work chowing down on hay, probably saying "Thank God those moochers are finally gone!”
The other cows, however, were not pleased that the all-you-can-guzzle milk bar had been shut off. They paced the fence and called for Benni, and generally acted like this was the worst thing that had ever happened to them.
I’ll keep Benni separate for the next 3 weeks or so to make sure she’s completely “dried off” and not producing any milk—and to break the milk habit of the persistent nursers.
Oh, and don’t worry about the rest of the herd—they’ve been given access to 1200 pounds of hay to help compensate for losing access to Benni. Yes, the inner bits of hay really do taste better, so it’s best to stick your whole head in!
It was a GREAT year for parsnips. I pulled half of the crop before a really deep freeze last week. There were so many, though, that I decided to leave the other half in the ground, blanket them with straw and see what happened. According to some friends, come early spring they’ll be the sweetest parsnips you’ve ever tasted.
I hope your holiday season is cheery and bright and full of delicious treats—be they parsnips or stale popcorn!
Here’s What I Loved This Week
This profile of Taylor Swift, written by the supremely talented Taffy Brodesser-Akner, is the best explainer I have read yet of Taylor Swift’s appeal to women and girls (including myself). It’s funny and poignant and made me reflect upon my own feelings toward my former self and my own “eras.” If you are mystified as to why Taylor was Time’s person of the year, it’s worth a read.