Ruts in the fields, these are minor compared to some
Corn likes it hot and sunny. This year we had mostly a cool rainy summer. The corn is shorter and the ears are smaller.
Fall comes and it is time to begin harvest but the rains just keep coming. Some days it takes a tractor or bulldozer to pull the truck to catch the corn, and a duo of vehicles to chop as well. Then repairs to the rutted fields have to be made when they dry. When good weather comes the crew is working steady to get that corn home to the silage stack.
Everyone will be happy when the stack is full and covered and we know we have enough feed for our dairy cows for the next year.
The tarp covers the old corn we are feeding out still. The new corn is pushed and packed by the bulldozer. The tight packing into the cement lined pit completed, the plastic cover is laid over it and weighted by tires to protect from wind damage. Then the stack of freshly chopped corn ferments. This is the basis of our dairy cows diet.
A milk producing cow will eat approximately 40 pounds of corn silage a day. So it is important we get all our corn home and undercover. The frost begins to sap its nutrients so time is of the essence.
Our family came to this farm in 1772. The first 100 years here they were subsistence farmers. In 1871 they incorporated the dairy business. www.mountaindairy.com Since then the rhythm of the farm has stayed in tune with the seasons. The crops coming and going on the land are the basis for maintaining the dairy cows. The days of horse drawn milk delivery are gone and the glass bottles are only a Christmas Season novelty.The work of milking has gone from hand to machine, what is consistent is the Stearns family being stewards to the land and animals.
This is our family story, of working the land and the land nurturing the generations.
For more of my farm and agriculture related blogs look at:
My grandfather tried creating his own dairy farm and was successful for a number of years. I have a photo of him with the metals churns in the horse drawn cart on delivery with his eldest daughter. I also have a photo of his first delivery motor vehicle! Although that has one of his ‘staff’ in the photo and not him. The farm house in Canada is still there, but the farm is gone. The farm in Wales is still there, however, to the best of my knowledge. He ended his life still working with cows – getting up at the crack of dawn to take samples to make sure the dairy cows were healthy. He loved farms.
Great story Caroline. Thanks.
Simon Brooks, storyteller
Thanks for the comment Simon. You have to love the land and cows or it just won’t work to be a farmer espcially these days. There’s a story in those old pictures of yours! Carolyn