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I am Sandra - faithful steward. listener. shepherd. dream believer. hard worker. collects brass bells, boots. Jesus follower. contented. star gazer. homemaker. farmer. prayer warrior. country woman. reader. traveler. writer. homebody. living life large.

Thursday, August 06, 2015

This Week in Hay, Horses, Cows and Butter

Keeping in mind the Sabbath was made for wo/man, this past Sunday saw me moving hay from the meadow into the hay lot. Donald and Dalton came by to get hay for their horses and Donald said, "Well, while I'm here, let's move some hay." With him in the truck, pulling the trailer and me on the tractor, we moved about half the hay and he left with 2.5 round rolls stacked on the trailer and another in the bed of his truck.

~ Sam figured out the truck had a.c. ~

While moving the hay, I would load 2 rolls on his trailer and one in his truck bed. It took a few loads for me to get comfortable with a roll on the front spear and on the back spear. When moving hay into the hay lot, it was very dicey due to the lot being on a hill and with ground hog holes. Donald would stand at the worst of the holes so I wouldn't tip the tractor over and be thrown off.

~ doe and fawn, round bale shade ~

I'm so short, I have to sit on the edge of the tractor seat so I can reach the pedals and, even then, my knees ache like a toothache when I'm finished. The angle of my leg puts a lot of stress on the knees and it simply cannot be avoided. And, yes, the seat has been moved as far forward as possible. Monday, early evening, I moved the rolls from field center to field side; this prevents dead spots in the field.

~ heavyweight Belgians, 3301+ pounds ~

Monday evening I visited the Tazewell County Fair to watch the Belgian pull teams and they were fabulous! Unfortunately, someone got confused in the office and messed up the scheduling so there were only four teams showing. There are usually a dozen and the pull goes on well into the dark of the evening. These animals are magnificent! Were I starting over, I believe I'd go straight to the draught horses...the English Shire (of which Her Majesty is the Patron) or the American Cream or the Gypsy Vanner. An acquaintance owns Silver Feather Gypsy Vanner Horse Farm and has incredible horses.

~ Beautiful Belgians ~

Wednesday I headed to Rural Retreat and Duchess Dairy for Jersey cream, milk and yogurt drink. On the way, I stopped off at The Dutch Pantry (Facebook page only) for lunch and home made sausage.

~ entering The Dutch Pantry  ~

~ putting out freshly made bread ~

From the Duchess Dairy website, "The facts show that Jersey milk taste better; Jersey milk is more nutritious; and the Jersey cow is friendly to the environment. She has a carbon footprint that is 20% smaller than that of the Holstein (black and white) cow and it takes 32% less water and 11% less land to produce cheese from her milk." As an aside, Jersey cows are known as Alderneys and date from the 15th century from...yes really...the Isle of Jersey off the coast of England. Jersey has 4.9% milk fat and 3.8% protein vs 3.7% milk fat and 3.2% protein of Holsteins.

Holsteins comprise about 90% of the national dairy industry and even though their milk is of lesser quality they produce more gallons per milking, more than 8 gallons per day. Also, the government, God bless 'em!, decided We, the People were too stupid to control our own dietary habits and slowly, yet surely, moved dairy herds away from Jersey to Holstein. (Frankly, considering the huge numbers (no pun intended) of American people who are obese, the government, this time, may be right.) The 1935 U.S. Census of Agriculture estimated there were 23 million dairy cows in the US. 42% were Jersey, 40% Holstein, 16% Guernsey  (4.7% milk fat and 3.6% protein), 2% Ayrshire and 1% Brown Swiss (4.1% milk fat, 3.5% protein).

Does all that really make a difference? Absolutely! In taste, cooking, baking and in churning butter. Which is what I did today; I demonstrated churning butter and from 2 gallons of pure Jersey cream, I made 10 pounds of butter. I'll show photos and explain in another post but suffice it to say I did it the Old Fashioned hand. As the cream thickened, my dasher broke and I ended up making butter in an enamel bowl using only my hands (which now feel like incredible due to being in butter fat all morning).

One last photo..."The Mayberry Deputy: David Browning" entertained today (Senior and  Special Needs Day) and was a delight. I watched as he worked the room and young and old alike, sometimes impatiently, waited to have their photo taken with him. You may remember Deputy Sheriff Bernard (Barney) Oliver Fife played by Don Knotts who was born in Morgantown, WV where Dave went to University.

Right after this photo, he said, "Do you remember the episode where Aunt Bea dated the egg and butter man? Andy said, "He buttered her up and she egged him on!"" Gosh, I loved Andy of Mayberry and miss those simpler comedies where we laughed belly laughs at such silliness. To watch the first pilot, click here and for more information click here. Andy was from North Carolina and Mt. Pilot was Pilot Mountain, is close to Mt. Airy (Andy Griffith's birthplace) which was known as Mayberry in the television series.

Oh my yes. Good times, good days, good memories. Until next time, when I show you how to make butter and buttermilk and maybe even cat head biscuits.

Blessings ~ so many, where do I start...home made butter ~ David Browning who gave so much joy today ~ draught horses ~ hay ~ doe and fawn ~ Donald and Dalton ~ 


  1. That fair does sound like so much fun. I would love to see the draft horse teams! I have little experience with horses but when I do go to the county fair I like to watch the races...

    Of course, I'd like to visit (with my palate, too!) all those creamy creamery attractions. Yum.

  2. What did you think of the "debate?"
    Love to know.

  3. By a strange coincidence, I happened to watch the Andy Griffith Show pilot last week on YouTube :) "Barney's" body language in the picture is perfect. And you look like you are really enjoying your butter-making (literally "by hand"!)
    I've loved heavy horses my whole life - one of my favorites to ride for several years for a Percheron bossmare - and if I could afford to feed horses I'd have a pair of rescue draughts here right now. There are a few folks in my area who use horses for logging, and that would have been an interesting "hobby" for me, but physically, I'd have to reluctantly guess that ship has sailed. Oh well.

  4. In eternity, I look forward to getting to know horses, which I think are one of God's mighty creations. They are so beautiful and strong.

    10 lbs of butter by hand, bless your heart. I look forward to that post.

    That hay work looks tiring, but oh the rewards of having your own hay.

    Have a wonderful weekend Sandra ~ FlowerLady

  5. Oh I am so happy your hay is off. I can relate to not reaching the floor and moving bales. I loved Andy and Aunt Bea. It is nice that you got away to enjoy the fair and the horse pull. Now with the hay off you can relax a bit. Love butter yum yum. Hug B

  6. Love that pic of you and Barney! What a great show that was. High days of TV :) Looking forward to your butter post. The horses are magnificent!

  7. Hard haying work and "buttering it up" next makes for "the good life!"
    I love this quote and agree . . . easy, gentle old time comic shows were delight.
    Great quote . . .
    "He buttered her up and she egged him on!""

  8. Loved reading your post today. The county fair sounds like a great time. I am looking forward to reading about the cats head biscuits. Very intriguing name for biscuits.

  9. What a delightful post!
    I loved every bit of it!

    I have a quarter/belgum mix. I've been told he's a Premarin baby. He's 26 years old now and total love!

  10. Fun times!! Enjoyed this post so much. Love the pictures too! That is a great pic of you and Deputy. One of my very favorite shows :) Off to check our very own Draft horse.. she is retired and does what she pleases ;) Have a blessed weekend! -Tammy

  11. Oh I loved this post. I am always interested in dairy cow history and I'll pass this on to our grandson who is raising Belted Galloway cattle. He reads, researches, and uses the info he finds regarding cattle, especially old breeds.

    Butter, real butter! Did not know it could make your hands feel so good. Do doctors and dermatologists know this ? ( :) )

  12. What a wonderful post, Sandra! You have a beautiful farm! I can't wait to see your post on churning cream for butter and cat head biscuits! Yum! ♥

  13. I knew I liked you! We are huge Barney Fife fans and I knew what episode you were describing by heart! Even my adult kids laugh when talk about them. Our favorites...Opie the Birdman, Barney sings in the Choir and Man in a Hurry. Good stuff!

  14. :) I can imagine how soft your hands are now after all that, yes. "He buttered her up, and she egged him on" made me laugh. And a show with gentleman, that. :)

    Have a good week, Sandra.

  15. Couldn't agree more on the Jersey factor. Of course being a goat girl by trade I must confess I only get Jersey from my friends who have their own. Love the draft teams and am with you would be nothing but if to do over. I miss simple, fun life for certain. Just love a good groaner every time thanks for sharing! Oh and I know you have other places to be and I know that the farm is still yours because the right person hasn't come along yet. But I find it delightful that you are still there and apparently God knows something we don't. Gentle night Miss. Sandra.


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