|From the Farm Journal
This month, we continue to highlight what a day in the life looks like for one of our cooperative member-owners. A core value of ours is connection with the families we feed. If you have any questions about Amish culture or living, please call, mail us a letter (address at the bottom) or send us an email ([email protected]).
I stand up out of bed in the morning at 4am and walk outside. In our mountainous area of Centre County, Pennsylvania, we have minimal light pollution. The stars are extra bright this morning so I take a few moments to look at the North Star and the Big Dipper. I gaze as far as I can and notice there appears to be no end of the stars — one of the many reasons I appreciate the early start to my day.
The barn cooled down with the overnight breeze and is pleasant – which helps as I ease into the work of the morning. A truck picked up our farm’s milk overnight, so today my first task is to start the cleaning cycle on the bulk tank before moving the cows from the pasture into the parlor for milking.
On this particular morning, I notice that Lucy (one of our dairy cows) gave birth to a heifer calf during the night. New life is always a blessing. My son Melvin joins me to help move Lucy and the calf to the post-partum pen and get them comfortable. Thankfully, Lucy is producing a very rich colostrum for her newborn calf and both appear to be stable.
Melvin and I work together to milk the cows, scrub the milking equipment, and feed the cows. We head together to our house for breakfast where I get to see another joyous scene – my family sitting down to over-easy eggs with scrapple alongside cereal with fresh milk.
After breakfast, Melvin and I harness our team of Suffolk Punch draft horses – Bob, Bert, Buster and Bill – to cut grass in the pasture. Next I head to the cornfield to check on the crop – both for growth as well as for weeds and ground insects. The rains in the past several weeks broke the dry spell in the late spring and has helped prepare the corn for harvest. The work in the fields always takes longer than I expect, though it is a reminder of the care my community is able to provide the land.
After the evening milking, we head to the house to call it a day, and the sun is setting on the mountain. We pause to watch the sun slip behind the mountain and remember who created it all.
Our retail shop is now open