When we got Mali Moo, we thought our next cow would be her calf (which is due in March). We had no idea that the universe had other plans for us…but when the universe presents us with opportunities, we try to just go with it. And so far, that plan has been working for us!
So when the universe said “Hey, want another cow?!,” we quickly agreed and brought home a playmate for Mali.
Gracie is 7 years old and is a Guernsey like Mali. They have spent some time getting to know each other and are learning to share their hay and grass. Gracie calved in November so as soon as we got her we had to dive right into milking! We milk Gracie each night, and all of us have taken turns, even the kiddos!
We tried milking by hand a couple of times, but since Gracie is used to a machine (and that machine is super quick!) we’ve resorted to using the milk machine for her. Once Mali calves we’ll probably hand milk her since she’s never been exposed to the machine.
Gracie is very friendly and likes to look at us through the window. She calls out to us and loves when we give her attention. Sometimes, she does tricks without even realizing it!
It’s like she’s saying, “Hey! Check out the size of my udder!”
On her first milking with us, Gracie was kind enough to offer up close to 2 gallons of milk! What a good girl!
Several months ago, we decided to venture into the world of kefir. While new to us, it was apparently a pretty popular item in the world of raw milk and kefir lovers. We ordered some kefir grains online and were really excited when our little tablespoon arrived.
I remember we chuckled at how small the amount was. The instructions that were included warned that the grains would eat us out of house and home. Again we chuckled. As the weeks progressed we did notice that they had multiplied a little. But, you know, when you watch something grow on a daily basis, it is not as impressive as when you look away for a period of time and then come back to it.
Well, our daily jars started requiring more and more milk and we had to transfer some of our grains to a separate jar. We placed those extra grains in the fridge (still being fed by raw milk) to keep them in a dormant state until we might need them. We do rinse them and replace the milk regularly. Would you like to see just how much our kefir kids have grown? Here’s the little tablespoon we started with:
And here they are after a crazy growth spurt:
And to think we weren’t really noticing the growth! I think we may need to start selling some kefir grains (they usually run about $10-$15 per tablespoon). Why not?–we’ve got extra!
Now, if you’re not familiar with kefir (it tastes a lot like yogurt with many more healthy benefits) or have just seen the flavored stuff in the grocery dairy department, you may be wondering how we use our kefir. Well, we make daily smoothies at breakfast. We load them with fruit and whip them up in the blender. Some of our standard flavors are banana/apple and banana/apple/blueberry. It’s a super healthy breakfast.
We also use our kefir in pancakes on the weekend (shhhh!….the kids think they don’t like pancakes this way, but they actually love them.)
Sometimes we use the kefir whey to make other items, like ginger ale and salsa.
If you’re interested in the benefits of kefir, do a little research online. You’re body will thank you! If you have any questions for us, let us know. We’re not experts by any means but we can tell you what has worked for us.