Today, Delightful and her now four week old calf Bella made the journey from Kamiah to Garfield with minimal malfunction, but with plenty of stress for a family of newbies. This arrival was long anticipated. Our first cow ownership in 2009 was to precede property ownership, but alas, gratification would be deferred until today. Two weeks ago we mowed pastures and began watering.
This allowed the trip to be relatively uneventful, though as the driver, my guts were in knots until Delightful finally relaxed after unloading. The image taken out the back window shows some images seared in my mind by the anxiety. To an experienced rancher with a proven stock trailer, this would seem trivial I suspect. To us it was pins and needles, with every bump triggering gastric constriction.
But the final result is something difficult to describe, as I told Courage when she asked me, "How does having Delightful here make you feel, Dad?" It is like the feeling of holding a new baby. Delightful and Bella bring to our household nourishment for body (as we tasted fresh out of the udder while she ate crab apples and fresh grass) and an earthy, overwhelming sense of reality, like becoming a parent for the first time. Her tolerance to six kids grooming and ogling immediately after a stressful trip in 100 degree weather (with a chaffed tail) was astonishing to me, having worked with ranging beef cattle. She let us milk her while she nursed Bella, and she's never officially been a milk cow. She's as beautiful as she is sweet, and she is already a contributing member of the household.
Deciding how to re-install 100 year old window frames attached to Anderson vinyl windows (vinyl flashing removed) is not simple. Not level, not water tight, and in some places rotten, we had a non-trivial challenge to determine the best approach.
Process: Remove -> Grind nails off -> Wire brush -> Caulk -> Paint back of flashing -> Reconstruct window and door slots -> Remove nails all over wall -> Sweep off wall -> House wrap -> Blue tape -> Reinstall window -> Spray foam around window -> Frame wall interior around window
No rustic living experience is complete, or efficient, without a clothesline, Kyra informed me. Temporary or permanent installation? Why not permanent. So, with 3 feet of concrete around 2 inch pipe, this line is going nowhere soon.
Note the house window removal during the project....
Do stemmy August grasses support strong milk production and excellent bovine/human health? We suppose not. Can overgrown pastures be mowed and watered back into rapid lush greenness in August? We're finding out.
Process: Mow very slowly -> Rake -> Put in trailer -> Spread over excavated area -> Water -> Sow
Results: After 10 days, some green spread, no seed germination, likely inadequate feed.
Josh: Founder, father