Farm Life Blog
The purpose of this blog going forward is to keep you updated on our progress with the farm and creamery. We want you to get to know us and we look forward to hearing from you in the comments section so that we may get to know you as well.
We hope to entertain you with anecdotes about the daily farm life. Somewhere along the way we will include educational topics on farming, cheese and life in general.
Today’s post is an anecdote about life on the farm — and life in general. There are lots of details to fill in, but the gist of the story is that I fell in the mud this morning and bruised my knee. Thank goodness nothing was broken or damaged too badly. Here are some details.
For the past month we have had rain and rain and more rain. Rain is good for farmers but it makes a lot of mud when you have large animals churning it up all the time. We have 6 milk cows and 4 steers in our herd as of this writing. That’s a lot of hooves making pudding-like mud out of the dirt areas.
Coincidentally, last week I did my regularly scheduled Village Wisdom Podcast (you can find it here). I just happened to use an analogy that involved slipping and falling in the mud during the podcast. That day, and for many days after, I was always extremely careful where and how I placed my feet. I didn’t want it to be a self-fulfilling analogy.
The day before yesterday we separated the two cows that we are milking from the rest of the herd. We did this to try and minimize the mud that is getting deeper and deeper due to the heavy rains combined with the heavy animals. Thankfully, now there are only two animals slogging through the mud with us on a daily basis.
Another advantage of this arrangement was that we could keep them close to the barn, which is really only a make-shift shed to keep off the rain. We didn’t have to walk nearly as far. Some of our pastures are perhaps a quarter mile or more distant from the corral area where the “barn” currently exists.
Anyway, it was a new system and the cows were hesitant and slightly uncooperative during the previous day’s milking due to being separated from the rest of the herd. We managed, but there were delays while we waited for them to become accustomed to the new arrangement. Today, they were still having issues. Buttercup was particularly flighty and Claire was just belligerent.
As I entered the area to help Scott get them moving in the proper direction, I was very focused on how I was going to get Buttercup to cross the road. She had stopped running around and was just not moving at all. There is a trick to getting a cow to move when they normally are being stubborn and refuse to budge. You simply walk by them in the opposite direction to the desired move. They will compulsively move away from you and, if you set it up correctly, in the direction you desire and parallel to your motion. It’s sort of like two ships passing in the night.
So as I entered the pasture from the driveway, I was very focused, very focused indeed. Just not focused on where my body was in relation to the mud. I was focused 85 feet ahead of my feet. I could clearly see myself walking briskly past her. I could clearly see her move in the direction from which I had just embarked moving just as briskly. And then reality set in.
I planted my left foot into the pasture and it promptly slid another 8″ throwing me off balance in an instant. Then, as luck would have it, my right foot caught on a tree limb. We had put it there for some reason I can’t remember right now. I went sprawling. Down I went into the mud. But the worst part wasn’t getting myself wet and soggy with mud. It was hitting my knee somewhere along the way. I screamed very, very loudly.
Then I kept on screaming loudly because it hurt like the dickens. I just laid there clutching my knee and yelling as I waited for the pain to subside. I can’t remember exactly what I was yelling. Maybe Scott remembers. He was running over to assist. Claire calmly walked over with natural cow curiosity to investigate the scene then promptly went right into the barn area. Buttercup, on the other hand, was quite startled and suspicious, frozen in place; she kept her distance. I don’t think she liked all that noise and unusual commotion.
Long story short, after a few minutes the pain eased off and I was able to get up with Scott’s assistance. My right hip and side were covered with mud. Good thing the phone was in the other hip pocket else it could have been muddied and smashed beyond use. I could walk with a slight limp and powered on with milking.
Claire had plodded on into her stanchion while I was still down so I hurried (carefully) to lock her in place before she finished eating her treat. Her curiosity could draw her back to the scene of the incident. Buttercup arrived shortly thereafter with Scott just behind. She looked only a little unsettled from the scare.
We finished up milking and all the while I was steadily getting better. The pain eased off and I could walk easier. I carried the milk to the house with only a slight limp. At the kitchen sink, before pouring up the milk, I loaded up with Ibuprofen and Tylenol. Scott continued his part of the morning chores which includes cleaning up the milking equipment and checking on the rest of the animals. He then gave me a physical exam and proclaimed me only bruised and scraped. We’ll see how it goes in the morning.
All’s well that ends well but it was a scary moment. Initially, the pain was excruciating. I could tell I hadn’t broken any bones but was concerned about ligaments and tendons and such. Those take forever to heal. And as we age, that time span can be longer and longer with the very real possibility of never regaining full function. Keeping our health is an important blessing that cannot be taken too much for granted.
Today I was blessed.
I hope you enjoyed that little story. I look forward to writing more of our adventures in the coming days, weeks, months and years as we build our farmstead business.
Long days and pleasant nights and may peace be with you always.