What with one thing and another I’ve been paying too little attention to this journal. That’s bad because its’ original and primary purpose is to be our farm journal, to help us in future years.
So first, Ella May is the cutest cow in all the world. She is also wicked smart and a worthy addition to Fencebuster Farm. Milking Devons are reputed to be the cows that browse (rather than only graze) and she lives up to the billing. That’s a big plus on our farm and just what I’d expect after 100(ish) generations among New England’s rocks and hills.
On the other hands of the octopus, the guy we bought her from said she’d never had grain. I think this is technically true: He gave her Wonder Bread for treats and I’d hesitate to say that any actual grain was involved. We’ve heard since that this is a breed trait: they like industrial foam and won’t even eat whole wheat bread. I guess that’s another indication that these are American critters.
Unfortunately she’s giving barely over a gallon of milk a day, and with no calf about we don’t know how to get her yield back up. She went into heat once, but there was scheduling mess up getting semen, and now she’s ten days overdue for the next one. This is evil. We need to get her freshened.
The ‘shroom season seems to be tapering off. The boletes are summer mushrooms, and the black trumpets seem to be quitting early this year. We’ve found them into October other years, but not only are we not finding them, we have reports that others are not either. Still it was much better than last year. We will be going out during leaf season to verify out sugar maples, so perhaps we’ll get a pound or two more. With seven mouths to feed we need everything we can find.
By the way, we did try gathering the Russulas for stock. Not worth it. They are famine food and nothing better. Old man of the woods, and birch conks, are fine stock mushrooms even if you wouldn’t actually want to eat them.