A Walk around the Wee Farm with the Purse Camera

Last night we were sitting outside eating our simple repast, the food supplied by our own wee farm, when we heard a worrying creaky noise coming from Pats Paddock. I could see part of the big paddock, and noticed the Murphys (lambs for dinner) and Mia (lamb forever) galloping across the field. Then there was another very obvious creak followed by an ominous crack. Probably Daisy behind the tree, I said to Our John who grunted and started eating faster. I was on those last few mouthfuls of dinner. You know the one bite when there is the perfect mix of pasta (made with our own eggs) and spinach (from the garden) with sunflower seeds (from down the road) and the fresh tomato salad (yes we are still picking tomatoes, sigh) has become warm and sweet. All the tastes are individual but melting towards each other. You go and see. I said, collecting the perfect forkful.  I just want to eat his last bit. John looked up.

Really big creaky, wiry, posty, breaky fency noise, yikes. We both jumped up,  I dropped the domed  fly covers over the plates, on went the gumboots  and we ran down the verandah steps, through the garden, across the track and round behind the tree  and there was Daisy. The naughtiest house cow in the world, leaning over the fence and as far out of the paddock into the cornfield as her considerable weight could take her, her tongue, her neck, her whole body at full stretch, trying with all her might to get to that one elusive stalk of corn and taking the fence with her.

Bad cow I was shouting.  Daisy NO, John was calling. Daisy NO.  Get your head away from that Genetically Modified corn, I am thinking!  John ran for the fence I ran through the barn through two gates and out into the paddock with a  bucket (the lure). The lambs were still at full gallop, expecting an escape hatch to open up any minute I am sure. Then they would fly through it  at top speed and disappear into 400 acres of dry corn.

Daisy always comes when I call her (each set of animal has their own call). So  I called her Come on Daisy! Banging on the bucket. She reluctantly turned from argueing the point with John, saw the bucket and leapt towards  me.  I spun and ran for the barn doors to get her in there. And she came flying after that bucket into the barn. Head and tail still up. Eyes showing way too much white. She is like a 16 hand clydesdale horse of a cow.  An Ayrshire cow who thinks she is a horse at full gallop takes a lot of stopping (so I jumped up onto the hay feeder as you would).  She was bellowing that John had yelled at her, why couldn’t she have some corn candy, the cows across the creek get corn candy, applying her brakes a bit late as she hit the barn floor. I threw the red bucket to the other side of the barn and she did a 180 degree turn up on two hooves  and hurled herself after it and through the other doors  into the yards. I slammed the gate. Thinking, I am supposed to be milking this cow this spring.So now Daisy is back in the potato paddock, by herself.   They keep assuring me that after she has had a calf she will settle down. Still no sign of the results from the pregnancy test though.

John went to get the fence repair tools and  I ran as fast as my little gumboots could carry me  back to the verandah and to my dinner, lifted the cover and oh there it was, the last mouthful. Aah. My mother used to call it the mouses tail.  I guess the cat would save the tail for last. If so I am a cat.  Queenie is a good girl though. She is my Hereford calf. 

And for my new readers. We are developing an old fashioned sustainably managed farm. We just want to grow our own food in a simple gentle respectful way. It is possible to eliminate processed foods from our diets and be GM free. Sometimes I tell the stories that go with the history of the food we cook.  Then we all get distracted. But mostly it is about the wee farm where we live and eat.

So the grapes are in, and the vegetables are winding down except for the leafy greens, silverbeet, swiss chard, beetroot and the new plantings of  lettuce, cilantro and spinach. We are picking and drying the red peppers and freezing tomatoes and the big peppers.  The last of the pumpkins are in.  Soon we will plant the garlic and mow the asparagus. But the wind-down means that the chickens can come out again. In fact their door will not be closed now. They will wander the farm and gardens until about December when it gets really cold. When they will not come out of the chook house anymore then I shall close both their doors  and lock them down  for the winter. At the moment they have a half door leaned up against the door so that Hairy McLairy can not get in. Did I tell you he loves to have his ears scratched. I was trying to get all these shots this morning and he kept appearing solemnly and silently right behind me, gently offering his ears for a scratch. And sweet as he is, and now that I am out of earshot, I have to say in the nicest possible way. This ram smells very rammy!

c

81 Comments on “A Walk around the Wee Farm with the Purse Camera

  1. That purse camera does quite alright! And I know what you mean by those last few forkfuls where everything has melded into pure tasty bliss. Can see the title of your next post…”Farm Animals gone Wild!” lol t

  2. The purse camera does exceedingly well!! I don’t envy you the milking with Daisy! I much prefer milking goats, I outweight them in a struggle. 😉

    • Actually john has said the same thing and he is rather partial to goats cheese but i LOVE butter!! Do you have goats there? c

      • Right now we are goatless, but have been considering it again. We had them while our children were growinng up because my daughter was allergic to cows milk. Butter made from goat cream is delicious, but you must have a seperator to get it. The goats milk is naturally homogenized, so it doesn’t separate on its own very well. But because of that, it makes what I think is the worlds best ice cream!! And young goat (under 1 year old) makes an absolutely marvelous chicken fried steak! 🙂

        • Oh.. goat fried steak! perfect.. and I did not know that about goats milk.. thank you.. that goats cheese is good stuff though but i have never had the butter!.. thanks ted.. c

  3. I too love the shot of the chickens, and living vicariously on your farm. I was remembering the other day that when I was younger, I wanted to have my own farm, so it’s lovely to be able to share this experience with you.

    • I remember the other day when i wanted a little tiny wooden house on the beach with everything painted white! and now i visit the sea with you! isn’t blogging grand.. c

  4. You have an awesome little purse camera! I loved reading about your animals and the description of your wild little naughty house cow made me laugh:) What an adventurous life you lead! Oh, and the food….yum…

  5. As usual, you made me laugh right out loud. Or Daisy did. In any event, what an eventful dinnertime! No rest for the pasta-eater.
    And I daresay your Hairy scratch-cadger looks remarkably sheepish in his portrait today!

  6. Love the chickens, but especially love the expression on Hairy Mclairy’s face and the hairy eyeball he’s giving you…he knows you’re about to trash-talk him!

    • Oh no, you think he knew i was calling him a smelly old fart! o-oh, better not turn my back on that ram for a bit!

    • I believe that daisy stands at the fence most of the day and waits until my bottom is on the sea tand my centre of gravity has dropped before starting to bawl about something! c

  7. I’m laughing so loud you can probably hear me all the way out on the prairie! Poor Daisy…she’s just another hormonal young adult…Nobody understands her… 😉

    You can make really good butter from goats milk, you know….

  8. Love this, Cecilia. Your farm sounds just wonderful, and the shots of your animals make me smile. It’s our dream to have a farm like yours one day. Just big enough to feed us and the ones we love the most, with simple real food and clean land. Is it as wonderful as it sounds?

    • Oh it is Miss valentine and your kids would love it,, you would have to give up the M&M’s though! Nah just kidding.. it is fun, active, sometimes a lot of hard work but once you are in there doing it – it is wonderful and the food is the best, i do everything simply..summer is great.. good to hear from you.. c

      • I don’t think I can give up my M&M’s, Cecilia! That might be a deal breaker, for me (hahaha). I’m subscribing now so I can keep better track of what goes on at your little farm. I’ll be living vicariously through you for a few years, at least 🙂

  9. I had no idea cows could have such personality!The title of the post cracked me up too – I love it. 🙂

  10. Awwww I just love hearing about your farm. I wish I could visit. You always have the most amazing photos and stories.. and I love that you enjoy your own organic food. Wonderful. The bugs would kill me though lol

    • There are no bugs Kay! I have banned bugs! And if there were, not that i am saying there are mind you, I would tell them to stay away when you visited! c

  11. This is lovely! Takes me back to my 32 years in New England. Beautiful images, wonderful, sentient animals – and your words straight from the heart. Putting you on my blogroll and sharing you on Facebook. Very nice!

      • No, I was in the woods on a beautiful lake. All the more remarkable that we carved out a huge garden spot, later raised beds there – also raised Thoroughbred horses. The farrier actually told us the tree stumpy ground was great for their feet – they always went barefoot – though we also had a beach sand arena to ride dressage in 😉 And a 40X60 log barn in which to put up hay for the winter (and the horses as well, downstairs).

        • Oh My God, you were in heaven, we used to ride the horses through the surf too, in fact we used to have beach races every year! but a lake, and woods and a log barn! oh wow.. how wonderful.. lots of work I know but still. i never did dressage.. but i watched it all the time.. beautiful.. c

  12. Quite an evening you had; I too am still plucking tomatoes from their weary vines. Have you ever dried them in the oven, sprinkled with herbs and olive oil? I am going to try this week…wish me luck. Oh, by the way, your cow is very cute.

    Jessica

    • I have dried them Jessica but i resent the energy i am using, our gas is in a big tank out the back and has to last all winter, plus the gas is too moist.. I tried drying them in a dehydrator but that was a disaster.. if you have electric then they will be great! well done, I bet you have great results..they sound good.. c

    • Thank you Caitlin.Brilliant that you dropped by. Those noises were certainly worrying, sure interfered with our dinner plans! and Rammy is pretty special! c

    • Very true tandy, she is a silly cow with a bit of naughty thrown in.. I told My Son Sam that you had been commiserating about Dan Carter and he said to say sorry about Steyn. I guess they are both sitting on the sidelines! c

        • Sam(senior rugby head son who lives in NZ) tells me that there is a big Springbok game this sunday. And it is on at a good time over here too, we do not have satellite or anything so with only three channels it is a bit of pot luck, but John has been instructed to find that game and watch it. NZ vs Argentina should be good too but he thinks your lot will be fierier! c

  13. Great post Cecilia, the pictures are beautiful and your animals adorable! I loved the lambs for dinner-lamb forever clarification.
    Thanks!

  14. WOW! I loved this post so much, yes, made me smile again but how beautiful your farm animals, especially Daisy! You captured so nicely dear Cecilia, and they talk as if while looking at your camera. You are amazing. Thank you, and Blessing and Happiness for you and for your lovely farm… with my love, nia

  15. Great tale, so exciting. What a naughty Daisy ! I was just singing your praises to an internet acquaintance of mine and saying he should look at the way you use photos in your blog posts to such great effect. I reckon you could take fab shots with whatever camera you had. I particularly like the way you use light in your photos, Daisy’s blonde eyelashes are charmingly captured, and I love the chickens outside the barn. Fabulous work 🙂

    • Thank you Joanna, though i am desperate to get my big camera back up and working again. I am still plugging away at the sourdough you know. i started a loaf on its second rise at 5 this morning and have high hopes! c

  16. never a dull moment hey C – Daisy clearly keeps you on your toes. Crossing fingers for the pregnancy!
    You do a mighty fine job of taking photos with your purse camera too.
    Have a happy Thursday.
    🙂 Mandy

  17. Your animals sound like real characters, especially Daisy. And as for your ‘old fashioned sustainably managed farm’ – this isn’t old fashioned, it seems to me it’s the way of the future.

    • I think it is definitely the way our future farming needs to go. Smaller, more natural and more personal. c

  18. I’m in awe of your lifestyle and have so much respect for what you are doing. Obviously there is alot of work involved but it seems almost magical…and comical… to live this way! I love all the animal stories and you’re writing is captivating!!

    • Oh no.. it must be crazy out there, you are most welcome to hide in my barn. Plenty of audience for your stories around here, Hairy is a great listener! c

  19. Daisy just wanted some fresh corn! Me too! We waited too long and some critters, probably squirrels and/or raccoons, got all the good stuff. No corn again from our garden, will I ever learn?

    • Oh no bad luck. I am listening to big machines getting closer and closer to the house so i hope our corn will be knocked down in the next few days! c

  20. Sadly, it is a glancing memory of a not so distant past when the small family farms were still self supportive. Before the mega corporations started taking them over with the help of our governments lobbied restrictions. The same has happened here on the east coast with the fishermen, shrimpers, ..heck, all over the country for that matter…independent truckers…Oh, …don’t get me started. ( I know, you didn’t have to, I was all geared up for it anyway )

    Poor Daisy, I can just see her wobbling across the field wearing a gate on her neck sticking out both sides like airplane wings…She should have some of that sweet corn!!!

    And, even poorer Queenie. Are you planning to use her for breeding, or weaning up new calves? As Herefords are a Beef cow aren’t they? I know you wouldn’t have named her if you saw T-Bones, Sirloin, and Filet Mignon when you look at her though. That crazy “Gordon Ramsay” does, though, and lets his kids become attached to them as pets… I couldn’t see that. But, I think it was all an experiment, and the making of the show ( F) word… which too me is NOT his best TV venture by any means. I seriously doubt he will ever name his intended dinners as pets again though, he put on a pretty good tough guy pretense of it didn’t bother him. But, he’s not THAT good of an actor ( as evidenced by his movie debut guest appearance in “Loves Kitchen ) But, to each their own I suppose, I just couldn’t name an animal I was planning on eating one day.

    That movie isn’t bad though, if you haven’t seen it yet. “Loves Kitchen” Okay, I’ve rambled on enough …
    Bless You
    paul

    • You are right that I only name the ones I will keep like Mia, and Daisy and most definitely the sweetest cow on the property our wee Queenie.. hopefully she will give us lots of steers for the freezer. To eat good food we do need to grow it. Miserable but true. No she is not T Bone. I know of people that will call their animals sausage or bacon so that their kids don’t lose sight of the objective. If she throws any heifers we will keep those to enlarge her herd. But we will keep small, feeding us and our people. I will get that movie and have a watch, though i think Gordon Ramsey is a bully who loves the attention. I love your rambly comments!! c

  21. On my way here, visiting Zia, I passed a dairy herd. One of the cows — apparently a distant relative of Daisy’s — was straining against a fence, tongue fully outstretched, trying to reach some tasty tidbit. (Traveling passed at 75 mph, I’ve no idea what that tidbit was.) Now, having read your account, I wish I had stuck around a few minutes to see if she, too, managed to break out. “The grass is always greener … “

  22. The cows are feisty critters all the time. I love reading our cow stories.

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