one step further

photo credit: my younger daughter

A couple weeks ago, after much dragging of feet, my husband and younger daughter finally took Daisy to auction.

photo credit: my younger daughter

Dropping her off kinda broke his heart, and it made me sad, too, but once she was gone, it was a tremendous relief. Bulk-processing milk from two cows, and at breakneck speeds, had been sucking up a ton of my time. 

And then I decided to go one step further and not even make cheese with the milk we do have. For a couple weeks (and maybe even longer, we’ll see), I’m giving myself permission to skip cheesemaking entirely. I skim the milks, saving the cream for us, and then the skimmed milk goes to Fern and Petunia.

 At first, feeding all our fresh, wonderful milk to the pigs felt terribly wrong (it’s hard for me to silence the voice in my head that says I gotta make the most of everything), but it’s not actually a loss. Feeding the milk to the pigs saves us on feed costs and goes towards our future sausage, and when I water plants with the whey (or milk!), the nutrients build up the soil. In other words, “dumping” the extra milk isn’t wasteful — it’s just a shift in perspective. Food production is cyclical, and sharing the milk with the animals (and land) is as valuable as using it up directly ourselves. 

mascarpone cheese

Now that I’ve forced myself to let go, instead of the milk controlling me, I’m controlling the milk. And the best part? Once again I have energy to play! I’m having so much fun brainstorming new, more complicated (to me, anyway, because they’re new) hard cheeses, as well as returning to more recipes that call for smaller amounts of milk and cream, like soft cheeses and ice creams. It’s lovely.

berry cream swirl

(And very delicious.)


Daisy’s sale stats: She went for “82 dollars a hundred,” and since she weighed 1470 pounds, so we got a check for $1169, after the fees were removed.)

This same time, years previous: the coronavirus diaries: week whatever, the quotidian (7.29.19), the quotidian (7.30.18), my deficiency, do you strew?, heading north, the quotidian (7.30.12), Indian pilaf of rice and split peas.


  • Erin

    Good for you on making the (tough) decision to do what’s best for YOU when it comes to all the dairy! I hope you’ll continue making your YouTube videos because I’ve loved them so much, though of course I know it’s a big hassle to do all of that work too. Regardless, I hope you know your work is appreciated and enjoyed!

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