“The long dry spell has finally broken. Not just the rain, but the milk. Kite the cow calved last night, delivering a sturdy heifer that Kirsten named Kanga. I knew a calf had arrived before Mark told me, because when he walked into the kitchen at dawn, my dog Mary got that soft eager look on her face that means she smells birth.
Jane, Mary and I went to the barn after breakfast to visit the newborn. Kanga was full of colostrum and taking a profound post-partum sleep, curled into a bed of hay in the barn. Her mother is doing well, back out with the rest of the milking herd. I expect the next calves will come in quick succession; many of the cows have looked ready for the last week. I’m glad they waited for the cold rain to pass.
Milk will still be tight in today’s share, as Kite will produce only colostrum for a few days, but we have reached the bottom now and the upswing should be swift.
The rain! We got 2.5”, and it fell softly, over a whole day and night, so the earth had time to drink it in. The soil was so thirsty, it absorbed an entire 2” before the drainage in the old fields began to run. (Interestingly, the drainage in the new section has never stopped running, even at the end of this near-drought. Mark thinks that means there is a spring under those fields.)
The drainage helps redistribute all that water, and takes off the excess, so roots can breathe. The cover crops look incredible – green and strong with perfectly even growth…”Continue reading this Essex Farm Note.