Definitely a milestone getting Gwen and her daughter Butters out on the pasture for the first time.
The pasture most likely has never had a cow in it for the last hundred years possibly…it was seeded this spring but not enough of the seed took. Quite a few raspberries growing in it, Gwen is not eating them.
They need fresh air and sunshine and it’s nice to see them on the grass having fun.
Butters loves her new freedom and is running all over the place, going to be interesting trying to get them in at night with little Miss Butters running amok.
It’s been many years since we’ve milked a cow, the days of raw milk cheeses, butter, yogurt, raw milk, sour cream..etc are back.
We were steered to China Maine by Maine Organic Farmers Association and purchased a beautiful cow named Gwen from Two Loons Farm.
Gwen had her calf about five days ago and we named her “Butters”. Gwen and calf are doing great and hanging out together.
Milking Gwen was difficult the first time because she was not used to our arrangement and we needed to come up with a solution that was safe for both Gwen and us.
Searching for an economically sound milking stand we decided to try something we found online, we ended up making modifications to make the stand stronger and more worker friendly, we’ll have to make more mods on it as we go along but this fits our needs right now, costed about $150 in lumber and approximately $ 135 in hardware.
We moved the last of the livestock up to Caribou so now the old farm in Madison is on the market. Moving an entire farm is no small task, especially when the trip is 4 hours one way.
We had to take the animal trailer to be welded before attempting to take the cows from Madison to the butcher. The old trailer was swaying back and forth down the highway, every time the cows would move the trailer felt like it would take me off the road….took 6 hours..2 hours longer than usual.
We starting all over again in a new place, everything must be done again from scratch, there’s an old barn where we will be using for lambing this year.
Caribou Maine is a magical place the other night I watched the northern lights dancing in the midnight sky, it looked like when sunlight is refracted through water. The beautifulness of the land here has captured our hearts as well and we’ve started planning the layout of the new farm.
Blessed Thistle Farmstead is the name due to the fact that we immediately felt blessed that we were able come across such a gem of a place. Thistle because of the many beautiful blue Thistles that grow wild here.
The land is rolling and we’ve got many acres of pasture here that can be used for growing crops, grain, flowers, herbs, and perfect for grazing animals. The land has been not been fertilized or utilized for 30 + years so we must bring back the vitality and create an environment for us to flourish.