High Grove Farm Journal – Nov. 2022
Dec 05, 2022 (Westby, WI)
By Jessica Rogers
The old farmers saying that goes, “Clouds floating low enough to cast a shadow are usually followed by rain,” was soon proved true the other day. Dark grey clouds hung low in the sky with ominous scuff clouds trailing behind. They passed quickly overhead as I pulled the last of the leeks and large heads of celery out of my vegetable garden.
The beginning of November started the countdown to winter on our farm. Its cool temps and strong winds are a sign from Mother Nature that outside projects will be much less trying if we work hard now and not in the frozen weeks to come.
I am still in awe of the bounty the growing season provided this year for our farm and our family, and I feel truly blessed by it all each time I open the freezers or walk past the pantry. The first flurries of snow floated down for two days, and the clouds finally let loose their heavy burden. It layered the farm with the first measurable snow fall on Nov. 15 – two years to the day that we moved onto this “new” farm!
Two days later, on the cusp of another predicted snowstorm and a cold front to follow, a pregnant cow we had been keeping close had busted through the fence to go calve where she wanted to. It was bitterly cold as chores ended that evening and while checking that all was well for the night, we discovered Jubilee was missing. It was pitch black outside with snow coming down and winds picking up. Drew zigzagged across the pastures using the light of the four-wheeler to search for her. Sometime later he discovered her tucked down in a protected corner of the pasture behind the house and barn. Jubilee was licking her fluffy newborn calf! Drew brought both mom and baby into the barn for the cold night. They would have been alright where wise mama had chosen to calve, but I am glad we found them or I wouldn’t have slept all night!
Opening weekend and Thanksgiving was spent with family, and it was great. The kids and I handled chores for Drew on and off all week so he could hunt. But to tell you the truth, Drew’s a farmer through and through and you won’t find too many farmers willing to sit out in the cold for long when all they can think of is everything they have to do on the farm. Needless to say, we weren’t left to manage things on our own for too long those days.
I am excited for December; I’ve always loved Christmas and the “getting ready” for it is my favorite part. Well, I better go get those twinkle lights hung on the milk house and the Christmas decoration totes down from the attic! Thanks for stopping by to read this month’s farm journal. We hope you have a wonderful Advent season preparing and decorating for Christmas and spending time with your loved ones. While you’re out bustling around, stop by those local cheese stores and support the small family farms if you can. We’ll keep working hard every day and night caring for our families and cows to make the highest quality milk that we possibly can for you.
-Jessica Rogers is a Westby Creamery farmer-owner who is sharing glimpses of farm life with us.
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