Managing the feed regimen for cows in a micro dairy environment is a matter of setting clear goals and understanding what your cows need.
An experienced homesteader discusses the pros and cons of one family keeping either a cow or a goat for their milk supply.
Here's some hints on how to juggle cheese-making among the many other homesteading chores. Mozzarella and cheddar can both be woven in while doing other tasks, but there's nothing like clabbered cheese for ease of making.
It’s spring euphoria, bovine-style! Just released onto grass from winter confinement, these bouncing belles proclaim their preference for pasture.
Steve Judge of Bob-White Systems in Vermont offers his Micro Dairy expertise in this blog series on how to start and manage a Micro Dairy, from farm and barn planning to selecting dairy cows, goats and sheep to daily operations and being profitable.
Mark Oldham shares childhood adventures of taking care of dairy cows and beef cows including milking, herding cows out to pasture and employing a cattle call in Appalachian country.
Kari Underly launches Range Meat Partners to offer training and create a new generation of craft butchers.
When I'm introduced to a new acquaintance, the introduction often ends with, "Bryan farms." Like it's the most interesting thing about me. Well, maybe it is.
A boy growing up in Appalachian Country shares the farming practices of his family.
America’s Farmstand delivers all-natural, sustainably farmed fresh foods, grown to exacting standards, direct from family farms to table – with no warehousing.
FamilyFarmed.org Good Food Festival & Conference partner Vicki Nowicki shares her experience living, learning, and teaching on her suburban permaculture homestead.
Paul Fehribach sees history in food, cooking methods and recipes and he’s planning a Chicago restaurant that will source 100 percent locally and champion the historic foods and recipes of the Great Lakes region.
A MOTHER EARTH NEWS sweepstakes winner donated her prize to a farmer in need.
A short post about how we built and designed our new cow and calf barn for hot and cold weather.
So, what are Purple Hull Peas? They are a green shelled pea that cooks into a creamy, yummy delight! They are easy to grow and can also be found at local farmers markets.
Learning to raise cows is more of a challenge than you would imagine!
I can hear it now: “What the devil? Angus? They are not milk cows!” Well, it all got started when the neighbor purchased four, what he was led to believe were, Black Angus calves from someone in a valley some distance from us. But the udders on these two cows were huge! They clearly had more milk than the calves could handle.
Any rancher will tell you, the secret to a healthy, productive herd of cattle is good bulls. Henry the bull may not be perfect on paper, but he turned out to be the perfect bull for Rancho Cappuccino.
Old-fashioned cider pressing embodies fall — and creates a delicious treat! Rick Godsil of Wagon Wheel Orchard shares fond memories of pressing cider on the family orchard.
My grandpa keeps coming to mind these days. He's been dead nearly 30 years and no one ever mentions his name any more. I long ago wore out the shirts I got from him when he died.
Sue Weaver provides her expertise on making homemade cheeses and yogurt and how to raise a happy, healthy, and highly productive backyard cow.
We buy a Jersey cow to use as a calf foster mom.
Robert Zwald finishes his short memoir with a record of his Wisconsin farm in the 1960s and the growth of his family. This is the eighth part of his stories, as compiled by his daughter, Ruth.
Emma Jane James of Appalachia, Virginia, inquires about her Kansan family tree and reminisces about better days in her coal-mining town, before mountaintop removal and pollution took their toll.
HOMEGROWN blogger and homesteading mama Michelle explains why road trips are worth packing 3 kids, 2 adults, and 2 dogs in a camper for weeks on end.
When her parents fall ill, Michelle takes a step back to care for them, to take stock of all she has learned from them, and to observe an early Thanksgiving.
According to FDA data, the quantity of antibiotics sold for livestock use in this country continues to rise, topping 29 million pounds in 2011. This has a direct effect on the efficacy these same drugs will have on us. Sam Spitz has personal experience with a resistant illness and FamilyFarmed.org asked him to tell his story. It’s a cautionary tale that should have us all making better food choices. Read how we can all influence the campaign to end the misuse of antibiotics in livestock and keep antibiotics working for us when we need them!
are at the vanguard of thoughtful sourcing, choosing local, sustainable farms
and cooking seasonally.
The summer days are getting longer, and so is the list of barn chores! Goats are kidding, cows are arriving, and a dream of having a raw milk dairy is becoming tangible.
How to finance your micro dairy and manage your budget for success.
A guide to creating realistic goals for your micro dairy based on your own experience.
Understanding and effectively executing a breeding program depends on understanding the calving cycle and when and how to dry a cow off in preparation of calving.
Silvopasture is a newfangled word for wooded pasture. Basically, all it means is that you are using wooded land with trees and forage for pasture. The trees can be managed for firewood production and/or saw logs and provide welcome shade and shelter for your livestock and forage.
Cows, goats, sheep, water buffalo, camels and, even, horses have been successfully milked by hand for thousands of years. Though it's an age-old practice, milking a cow by hand is not as easy as it may first appear. It’s best to know what you are getting into before you take on this important farming task.
Cows love routine. The more things stay the same for cows, the safer and more secure they feel. Here is my abbreviated list of best practices for milking a cow, learned over many decades in the barn.
Your homestead is complete when you get your own cow for milking. But problems such as a cow who holds her milk or who kicks can make milking difficult and even dangerous. Here are some helpful hints so that you can enjoy your cow and enjoy milking her.
Cows are big, powerful animals, and milking puts you right beside the strong hind legs and feet. If you find yourself with what I call a kicky cow, there are steps you can take to manage the animal.
A cow is born at Sunflower Farm!
Carmen Ortiz shares stories of visiting grandpa on his urban farm where she learned to milk cows, avoided the outhouse and gained an appreciation for gardening.
After almost 50 years of raising cows and dairy farming in New England, I’ve developed what I consider to be 15 universal truths for micro dairy owners.
Grass feeding cows may be the latest craze, but not necessarily the best diet for dairy cows.
A hard look at the state of the food industry and the impact of factory farming on polluted run-off, animal rights, and small family farms across America.
Readers share tips and recipes for cheaper, easier and healthier home cooking.
A recent online post from "Slate" magazine called into question the necessity of home-cooked meals in today's society. Joel Salatin – sustainable farmer and author – weighs in.
A look at how our family created the community that supported our family life.
Drag them... pull them... tie them to a chair! Whatever you have to do to get your family to sit around a table and eat healthfully--do it! We are losing the simple act as gathering as a family a sharing a meal. Do you hear the dinner bell? Let's go!
Judy Mimranek shares her father's time-tested tip for digging a root pit and covering it with layers of straw and cow manure in order to store fruits and vegetables through the winter.
Miniature cows may be half the size of standard cattle, but as MOTHER EARTH NEWS reader Corinne Talkin writes, these diminutive breeds have big personalities.
There is much to be learned when taking care of dual-purpose cows including how to avoid birthing problems and retained placentas, how to manage mastitis and when to do artificial insemination.
All land is not created equal when it comes to raising animals on a micro dairy.
Robert Zwald grew up in the 1900s, farming in Minnesota. This is part two of his stories from the past, as compiled by his daughter, Ruth.
A Grade 1 group come through the farm for a tour
Life with goats, sheep, cows, chickens and other livestock isn't all roses. Publisher Bryan Welch considers the value of finding and keeping the right partner for tackling life on the farm, goose poop and all.
How big of a priority are good animal handling facilities?
Joel Salatin and his family open their farm in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley on July 19th to celebrate what he calls "integrity food." Events will feature walking tours of pastured livestock, intensive seminars and demonstrations on rabbit rearing and more.
Life on a family farm is never dull and full of surprises to keep a farmer on their toes.
Robert Zwald grew up in the 1900s, farming with his father in Minnesota. This is part one of his stories from the past, as compiled by his daughter, Ruth.
Lyn Fenwick discovered a key to her family's past when she uncovered a homesteader named Isaac's dusty journal dating back to 1884. This five-part blog series discovers the treasure of a forgotten life using an old family heirloom as a map.
Egg production in family flocks vs. factory farms.
The benefits of adopting a pet. And the sadness that occurs when they die.
How we put the happy in The Happy Homesteader.
In addition to raising livestock in a healthy and humane way, a major goal of John and Christine Deck and their children is to help reestablish family farming as a viable economic endeavor. Part 2 looks at the challenges faced when kids leave home.
Docking of dairy cows serves no purpose and causes pain and discomfort for the
Bob-White Systems is bringing the cows back home by providing supplies, equipment and support for Micro Dairies, Home & Farmstead cheesemakers and small-scale producers of local and farm fresh dairy products.
How and why I started using leftover raw milk as a natural soil supplement and fertilizer on my dairy farm.
Why I have never trimmed my cow' nails in 8 years of running a micro dairy. Read on to choose whether you want to be trimming your cows' hooves.
Farm life is not always predictable, and some of the surprises turn out to be the most valuable lessons. This story from the ranch about some strong winter-born goats, a protective cow with motherly instincts, and a calf that’s making it against all odds will not only inspire you, but it may teach you something about the wonderful spirit of community support.
We're lucky to be able to live the way we do, even when we feel like we're melting
A permaculture-based, 2,000-acre farm in Northern California integrates grassfed livestock with orchard farming.
Try this tasty vegetarian (and vegan) alfredo for a healthy weeknight dinner.
Infants and children are susceptible to the dangers of aspartame side effects.
The Farm Aid concert is a chance for us to shine a spotlight on these people who work every day to put good food on our tables.
In part four of this five-part series, Lyn Fenwick shares journal entries from a 19th Century homesteader's journal regarding Sand Hill Plums and the memories and traditions that surround them.
In the final chapter of this five-part series, Lyn Fenwick finds the country cemetery that Isaac was burried in and pays her respects to the author of a treasured family heirloom, a 19th century homesteaders journal.
Debbie Mildfelt shares memories of her grandmother's stories, exploring the life of a large family on a small Kansas farm.
After working four jobs to make payments on their larger home, Debra and Gary downsized--to 320 square feet. The family lacks for nothing, and guests are always welcome. "I've got everything I need," Debra says. And their $20K house is paid off.
A very lively potato salad recipe that is always a hit at potlucks.
Wood Prairie Farm encourages citizens to sign a petition in support of family farmers and to attend the citizens assembly on January 31st, 2012.
“The Cleaner Plate Club” co-author Beth Bader shares an adventure to the farmers market with her daughter, her “eat local” food values, and her recipe for Lemongrass Tomato Soup.
Summing up pasture data where it relates to chickens and customizing land to better suit poultry and their behavior and stomachs. Measuring oil viscosity levels and rescuing a trailer with a portable winch were some of our favorite things.
This is a true account of an end of life journey. A beautiful backyard Burial and all the steps that were taken in order to do it. This story is written in two parts, part two will be posted next week.
We dipped candles from our hive's beeswax to celebrate winter. Candlemaking is a nice seasonal craft. Here’s how we did it, plus some tips to get you started.
Growing Local Food is a new book that encompasses all the needed basics to grow plants, keep heritage breed animals and bees. The author is a homesteader and physician who gives the readers the basic information to grow or find nutritious, local food
For those of us who hate to use chemicals in our gardens, in our homes, or with our livestock and pets, diatomaceous earth may be a safe and efficient substitute. It may worm your animals, rid them of fleas and lice and even handle indoor pests.