Saturday, November 22, 2008

bovine centric?

our world is going to change. toly's issues have sent us on an elimination diet. the first thing we are going to remove is milk. we have actually dabbled in eliminating other things with no results. milk has been the big hold out. we have been in denial. sheez, we have two milking cows right now. tabitha stopped milking the cows and left them with the calves to keep their milk supply up. we have also decided to sell nimue. yes we love her but rory is a vastly superior cow and we really only can afford one. having a milk cow is huge money suck.

so the idea is to rid the house of milk products and the whole family will go on a milk-fast. it can't be done halfway since the interchange of food cannot reasonably be monitored and segregated. i will buy cream for my coffee--i'm a cheater i admit it. within the eight weeks of milk-fast we'll sell nimue and really focus on isolating any variables that we might have control over. things like blood sugar, reflux, and gluten are on our hit-list. not milking will give the entire farm a break and extra time to focus on toly. other benefits will come from having extra time. i have actually been reading from the printed word--imagine that, books. tabitha will likely start knitting again--that leans toward a winter activity anyway. the kids home schooling has ramped up. tristan is on a real schedule and has been pumping out daily copy work. his writing has improved dramatically.

after this eight weeks, if toly cannot have milk we'll sell rory after jocelyn is naturally weaned. we'll keep jocelyn and raise her as a dairy cow. that will buy us two years and afford us another chance at a milk cow. by that time tristan and kassi will be of a greater helping age. toly will be steeped in his milk free diet. i might have the milk barn finished. regardless, we plan to redouble our efforts toward gardening and sustainability. this last years gardening failure is a festering thorn in my side. having the milk barn finished will make the whole process easier. more of our foundation in place will make everyone's life easier. we have been over our heads for so long that everyone needs a break.

we'll still raise broiler chickens. we'll likely try farrowing pigs in a year or so. laying chickens will continue to be a staple around here. their new chicken coop will arrive sooner rather later. so, i'm not removing the cows from the "pile of omelay's banner" yet but, things are changing.


Pablo said...

Geez, I wish I had a tenth of your energy and vision! You're an alpha male, aren't you?

Ron said...

It sounds like a real plan is coming together... I sure do like that feeling. I've always enjoyed the idea of having a cow, but I felt it would not be real practical for us.

I hope you are finding the pigs to be low-maintenance, efficient, and friendly. Besides small stock (chickens, rabbits maybe), I think a hog is an ideal animal for a homestead. We sure enjoyed ours.

I hope the elimination diet works out for you guys.


nathan said...

One thing to consider on the diet. Is that sometimes kids can outgrow thier food allergies. Toly maybe able to have milk in the future even if he now can't. Good luck and post the results as I am doing the same with my Chase.

Rurality said...

I forgot to tell you, "Ditney frost" has a source! It's the Dittany plant, aka Wild Oregano. It's the main plant, besides white crownbeard, that produces frost flowers, at least according to Dr Carter. It took me a while to put 2 and 2 together!

Wendy said...

We buy raw milk from a local dairy farmer, and one day I mentioned to him that I would love to have my own cow, but we don't have enough room. He just kind of laughed, and said, "It's cheaper to let me raise the cows." He's right, I'm sure. At $6 a week for milk and none of the care or upkeep of the cow, I know I'm getting a deal.

It sounds like you have a very well thought-out plan. I wish you the best with your elimination diet and hope you find the problem. My oldest seemed to be having issues with milk, and we switched to raw milk, but I know that's what you use already.

Have you considered goats? A couple of angora goats, and you've got milk, meat and fiber ... for Tabitha's knitting ... not that you need ANOTHER chore (shearing the goats ;).

Re: the garden. I think it wasn't the best year for a lot of people. Don't beat yourself up too much about it ;).

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