Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Little House on the Dairy
August 26, 2009
This little house is our feed shed. Lights left on by some farmwife in rubber boots and worn thin Old Navy shorts, rushing through chores. On my way back from the barn after dark, I saw it and stopped for 10 whole seconds. I liked the way the light poured through the window and the door, the way the yard light behind me illuminated the old claw foot tub full of morning glory vines. I liked the way the peeling paint on the walls looked more silver and mysterious and less like just one more task I had not yet accomplished this summer.
I liked our farm.
But...I am worried about it. After 5 months of phone calls, meetings, and emails, the creamery we trusted to be buying our organic milk backed out of the deal. No written contracts had been signed but verbal offers were made and hands were shaken. Once upon a time that meant good business. Now it means we are back to ground zero after months of work. We have a great product. 100% grass fed organic milk from a herd of hard working bovines with udders to die for.
Do we relinquish our organic certification and return to the conventional milk world ? Or maybe we can take the heart breaking step so many dairy farmers have taken before us and sell our herd, close our barn doors? Or do we enter the cow-share world and distribute milk directly to our customers.? Or do turn 360 degrees and assume HUGE debt while opening our own bottling plant ? Or raise minks ? Or sell hemp purses ? Or what ? (I am so Jessica Lange in "Country" are'nt I?)
We don't know. What we do know is we want to farm. Organically and profitably. And we want other people to enjoy the milk we produce with all its benefits. We know we have the support of our family and friends whatever choice we make. Except for the minks, we're more denim folk. So, if you have the faith, prayers would be welcome. And if you have money and are so inclined, when you see a bottle of organic milk in your store with a Smirking Green Acres Cow on the label, we'd appreciate your patronage.
Please and thank you.