Fresh Facts Week 29: Milking the Family Cow

Volume 8, Week 29, March 8-14,  2015

Oh goody goody gum drops, it’s Daylight Savings Time! I think all of American society is so grateful to our benevolent overlords for coming up with a way where we can get up earlier and work longer because we just weren’t getting enough done as it was.

They cut normal time down to about 4 months so we can be more productive for 8, but we never get to meet these They people so we can thank them properly. Wouldn’t you think—since it’s such a wonderful idea—the Theys would want to be acknowledged for this splendid contribution to society? Maybe we could get a picture from the They family reunion to put on a postage stamp or at least have a national holiday maybe called “Productivity Weekend” in their honor. Of course what that would look like is everybody putting in an extra 2 shifts on Saturday and 2 more on Sunday for the common good. It wouldn’t be something anyone had a say in except the Theys, but they know so much better than us commoners.  Frankly, I think this is another great example of the splinters you get when you go against the grain of the universe.

Growing up on the farm, we always had a milk cow. Mom says I was weaned onto raw cow’s milk; I’ll just have to take her word for it. I know our grandkids were and they’re tough as nails. Dad milked the cow til I was old enough to take my turn at it.

The ol’ cow I remember best was named Dirty Sally. There was an episode of Gunsmoke that ran about the time we got her that featured this old hag by the same name; missing teeth, hair disheveled, loud and highly opinionated.

Our cow Dirty Sally was of dubious ancestry, brindle (striped) in color. She had had both horns shortened at some point down to 4 inch nubs and one was bent down and the other was straight. She had this look that said: “I’m way smarter than you and if I had thumbs, you’d be working for me!”

So here’s the mechanics of milking a family cow. You get up in the dark because it’s gotta be done before school. Get the milk bucket and fill it half full of hot water and put a towel around your neck. Go out and bring up the cow, put a half gallon of grain on top of a flake of hay, lock her head in the stantion, hose down the milk barn and the cow’s legs and tail, fill the bucket the rest of the way with cold water to give you a bucket of warm water. Wash her udder with the warm water—which stimulates her to “let down her milk”—dry it and the tail with the towel, grab your stool and start milking. The reason you want a clean dry tail is she’ll be using it to swat flies right about where your head is.  Gathering eggs on the way back was part of the deal.

I remember doing the math to show dad how the cost of the grain and hay was equal to the value of the milk and my time was just wasted. “Pasteurized milk isn’t as healthy;” was his reply.

He died a few years later and I sold the cow the next week, but I still went across the river to Neves’ dairy and gave ’em 5 bucks for 5 gallons because it was clear that he was right on the health issue.

For me personally, raw milk solves most of my sinus problems. Many of you have emailed similar results. Anyway, that’s the story and why I’m so grateful to just get our raw milk from AHO.

Author Uncle Vern

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