2017: A Year of Surprises

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year from Hope Refuge Farm!

A not-so-white Christmas in KY.

I’ve had a rough year personally, so have ended up taking an extended break from writing again.  It’s time to catch up!  At this time of the year it’s natural to look back over the last 12 months, and oh, how things can change!  A lot has happened with my herd in a year’s time.  It’s been a year of surprises…mostly good, but some not-so-good as well.  Here are some of the good surprises I’ve encountered in 2017.

Due to changes, I’ve started hand-milking my Dexters this year instead of machine-milking.  I was pleasantly surprised that it doesn’t cause too much pain in my hands.  I’ve come to enjoy milking by hand & the close contact with my cows.

After the way things went with Janie last year (see the previous post below), it was a delightful surprise to have her decide she was actually a milk cow after all!  She calved in July, and I’ve been milking her by hand ever since…without any kicking.  In fact, she has become my “go-to” milker this fall.

This summer, young Thomas went to spend some time with a small herd that belongs to some friends of mine.  When I picked him up again 4 months later, I was amazed at how much he had grown, filled out & muscled up.  It appeared I had taken them a lanky, teenage boy and brought home a mature, young man.  Quite a nice surprise indeed!

RdoubleD Schmoozer (“Mooch”), my fabulous new herd sire. Yes, he really is that deep-bodied! The grass is only hiding his feet in this photo.

I was also surprised by how many cow-purchasing opportunities came my way through the year.  Opportunities just too good to pass up.  Therefore, I have quite a few exciting new additions to the herd.  High Pines Charlie came home with me from the AGM in June.  Ginger & her daughter Fancy were bought from friends nearby when they had to sell their herd.  I bought Mooch from Monica in WA, and she twisted my arm into taking Stacia & Show Time as well (haha…she didn’t have to twist hard!).  An ADCA member in PA contacted me to let me know she was selling her Old Orchard cow, and you don’t come across one of those every day!  And last but not least, I acquired Cara & Delight from my friends at That One Farm in Center, KY.  You can see them all in the Herdbook & find out more about them.

And now to get ready for 2018!


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