Last Friday, just as the afternoon radio show was finishing, I sent a photo of me milk my cow. The lovely team rang me back wanting to chat.
Some background on me milking my cow: The cow is called Cowpurnia. She is named such because of the beautiful house keeping woman, Calpurnia, in ‘to kill a mockingbird’. Turns out she’s not much of a housekeeper but very much the matriarch of my 3 full grown cattle herd. I have a bull, but she is boss.
She was born in a feedlot. The moment she was born her life was in jeopardy. Feedlots are full of pathogens that kill calves. (Even 12 months after leaving the muck of the feedlot those pathogens can kill the animal born in such conditions). And feedlots often don’t have accommodations for cows with calves so a common practice is to humanly kill the calf or rehome the calf, orphaning it in the process.
I took her home with a view to allowing her to be part of a small herd. The catch was that she would need to help me out with calves of her own so that I can afford her care needs. I bottle fed her along with 6 other calves. 3 survived. Last year cowpurnia produced a beautiful calf.
In December 2021, most shopping trips would leave me disappointed that I could not buy my preferred brand of milk. Then in January, there was limits imposed which I wholeheartedly understand. However I don’t want to go into the supermarket more than once a week to get enough milk for the week. And actually the current health climate sates I would do well to go fortnightly. So I and my partner decided it was time to learn to milk the cow.
I am a city born person (Sydney of all cities). But knew I wanted a rural life when I was 14. My grandmother’s parents ran a dairy in Tasmania but she would repeated go on about hating it. I’m sorry her life is so hard on the farm. But so glad she did not influence me on this subject: I love it. I’m Looking forward to developing some work from home income to enjoy more farm activities (milking a cow on top of a 10 hour shift is not fun).
The presenters asked on Friday, where we were the moment McGowan announced the border change the night before. I was down the bore paddock… milking the cow… McGowan on livestream. If my (dead) grandmother could see me now. An interesting mix of old and new technology/lifestyles.