Cows, cows, cows and a pig.

Poppy the pig, it was so cold yesterday Sheila took to her bed and Poppy spent the day gazing mournfully out the door.

The brown cows are all together again. Finally, says Aunty Del.

We have discovered that Lady Astor will stand completely still and sweet if John stands at her head and practically hand feeds her. He dips into her bucket and fills her trough bit by bit and keeps up a running commentary of nonsense. Pure nonsense. I have never heard him talk so much in my life. But he must talk only to her, if he turns and talks to me in a different tone, she starts to twitch and shuffle her feet. He must give her his full attention and she happily munches and lets me get on with the milking. Not one Kick at all.

We are all happy with this step up in milking etiquette.


I am still amazed at how easy it is to separate her from her calf every afternoon. I just walk them both into the yards, Lady pauses at a tiny serving of treat grain and baby keeps on walking straight into the barn and her little dish of treats and hay. I shut the door. Lady turns and walks back into the field. Perfectly easy.
cow and calf

My favourite photo of the day.

cow and calf

kid goat

Good morning, Gabrielle arrived yesterday on time and repaired to work,  she is a delightful, cheerful, intelligent young woman.  She immediately gravitated to the animals and the barn. She will do well.

This summer I am focusing strongly (with my guest workers)  on combining the farming and gardening with running an old fashioned kitchen. I call that role the 1940’s housewife.  The person in the kitchen is the pivot for everything in a home and on a farm. They determine what is grown, what is picked, what is preserved and what is cooked. So every day one person will be the 1940’s housewife.  From morning to night.  For the whole day, they will wear the pinny and work in the kitchen,  doing the meals, the bread, making the jams or stocks, dealing with the milk and cream, making the butter and ice cream and baking, cleaning, tidying, stocking, ordering the gardeners and kitchen hands about.  Playing loud music and making delicious feeds. An old fashioned Mama in the kitchen. Making the house sing.  Culminating in dinner around the big table. With everyone pitching in to help with the clean up at the end of the day.

The last few days I have tried to make a list of what I do every morning. Often before the guests even wake up. The list is long.  But it is a cycle. A good one. Everything kind of works together. Running an old fashioned kitchen is an incredible skill to learn.  Both Gabrielle and Federico are willing to give it a try. And next week when there are two more girls as well it will a delightful riot.

I will be on hand as the consultant. But they will not need my help for long.  (And very quietly I am looking forward to being able to spend entire DAYS outside.)

I hope you have a lovely day.

Your friend on the farm,




48 Comments on “Cows, cows, cows and a pig.

  1. What an exciting time you will. All be having

  2. A 1940s housewife had to cope with a full-blown war and rations, and I don’t envy the person who draws that straw for the day. Good morning, c, and greetings to the farmy!

    • Many food changes occured in the 50’s – this is why i say 1940s. A NZ housewife on a farm – (not an engllish housewife or a dutch one for that matter).. I should have clarified that. Or should we say pre war housewife? But I think you know what i mean. c

  3. You are living my dream. Three seasons ago, my big sister was here for the whole summer in the role we jokingly called, “House Elf.” It was amazing. Every day she gathered fresh vegs from the gardens, and made me and our crew a fabulous lunch. She cleaned my house, we had coffee together every morning, and wine in the evening. I joked that it was like having a wife! It was the greatest summer! I have always had a dream at my farm to create a farm kitchen position, whose job it is to gather fresh food and cook for those who are working. You are making that happen! Home and hearth is so important. I think in our rush toward equality, we’ve forgotten the importance of it, and that the role isn’t necessarily gender based, just important.

  4. I’ll be right there, and I’ll bring my own pressure canner, Really Big Stockpot and stand mixer…. Oh, and my knives. You can’t do it without proper knives. I do wish we could get live Celi-com, with feed from the Farmy kitchen. I reckon you’d have a bunch of us cooking/preserving/butter making/cream skimming/meat-butchering along with you, like watching a Masterchef master class!

    • We really need a Farmy Kitchen book. Recipes, methods for making butter, cheeses, essential oils etc…. with LOTS of pictures.

        • Marvelous idea. A great deal could simply be edited from the archives (which I’ve been plowing through lately). There are pictures and recipies and tips, stories too. It would make for a fine winter project when being out of doors is not so pleasant and the time a bit more available for something like that.

          • Are you reading and listening, Celi? Another wonderful book to add to the list of Farmy Fellowship Publications. I’ll put my hand up for proof reading, having done it professionally in a previous life!

                • It is very unsettling as well as painful. Home of 45 1/2 years being taken away. Don’t know where I’ll end up or when I’ll be online after the 1st of July.

                  • Oh my Lord, I can’t imagine how painful that must be. I’m sorry if my comment appeared to trivialise what was happening, it was not my intention. I can only offer my best wishes and prayers for a good outcome. x(O)x

                    • You didn’t. Your good intentions and prayers are truly appreciated. None of the rest of the family want any of the family heirlooms, looks like they’ll be sold if I can get them out in time. Had someone ask my how I could pack up my life, there’s no answer for it. I’m trying. I can’t say I’ll miss the neighbors tho, they’ve been nothing but a misery. One had enough political clout that they were able to prevent us getting a paved driveway so we could put in a used (and free) wheelchair lift that was given to us by a friend so my mother could be gotten to and from the vehicle. She spent the last two years of her life unable to leave the house because of that. Some people are such #*&%)(*#). Anyway, thank you for your prayers.

  5. In my kitchen I have a fridge magnet that reads “I only have a kitchen because it came with the house” , soooo I would be paying extra to have an extra day mucking out the barn, or weeding or tickling cute piggies 🙂 But I really, really would like to learn how to make soap. Laura

  6. Sounds like a fabulous plan Celi! Will you be giving mini-lessons as the guest workers come? The 1940s kitchen role is quite a responsibility and even more so when all on the farmy are depending on that person for yummy sustenance! 🙂

  7. a very smart move! They will learn priceless skills! And respect for the person in the kitchen!

  8. Miss C, it is easy to see just how much you enjoy these guests in your home from your writing. There is a motherly, but practical joy to your words. I hope you realize that you are providing them with so much wisdom.

  9. Lady Astor is a bit of a prima donna!? And I love this statement: With everyone pitching in to help with the clean up at the end of the day.

  10. Who will converse with Lady A when Our John is away? Did you ever see this as something he would be doing? 🙂

  11. Ah, there is an ulterior motive to this 1940s housewife plan: You being able to spend the entire day outside. But I think it’s a splendid plan. You put such an exciting spin on the idea, terming it a “delightful riot.” Love those words.

  12. Well, Lady A’s ear for tone of speech might teach your in-house Cow Whisperer to also “whisper” when talking to you (at least in Lady’s presence)… 😉 (I’m having fun imagining it.)

  13. My mother did the job of the housewife for many years. She always cooked for a large group of people . People did help her , especially when it came to preserving food. I remember a group of women sitting outside, cutting veggies or plugging chickens.

  14. I love the close-up of Lady A and Naomi too, but especially the full-figured one of her. She is quite beautiful, so so white and so so black. Stunning. I’m thinking about that precious frog you found the other day. Do you think you’ll ever see him again inthe frog pond? He had to be the cutest little tyke ever.

  15. nuri has my mind in overdrive … your in-house Cow Whisperer dancing round your boudoir whispering what you call pure nonsense while offering you sweetmeats! nThake your boots off woman and listen or he tempted to go sleep with Lady A! 😆 😆

  16. Isn’t John a love to chit chat to a cow while you work the other end ; )
    You are a great team

  17. That last sentence should read: Take your boots off woman and listen or he might be tempted to go sleep with Lady A!

  18. Lucky I had a pre war grandma who taught me how to manage it all with grace and love at every turn. She lives in my soil stained hands, my ever present paring knife, the works on my needles, and in my heart.

  19. Lady A is a cow who knows what she wants. Not a bad tradeoff. Milk for a little one-on-one TLC 🙂
    Those sorts of roles, 1940’s housewife, shearers’ cook, jack of all household trades… and possibly more, is a great skill and experience to have. To be organized and know how to get into the zone and do everything efficiently, effortlessly. And to collapse happy at the end of the day with a glass of wine & a great sense of accomplishment. It’s not something I want to do every day… heaven forbid… but it’s great to be able to calmly cater for hoards of people.
    My MIL squarks “it’s too much” when I invite all and sundry for gatherings like Christmas lunch. I respond “but you used to do it all the time”. She retorts “that was then”. My point exactly! A dying art, culture I think, so a valuable Farmy exercise, as we don’t want it lost forever.

  20. So it looks as though you have at least one chubby hereford. What are your milk cows? I do love the pictures of your animals. They all look as though they have business to go about.

  21. Fascinated by your 40’s concept! Since we were perennially moving refugees at the time, being bombed, strafed, lucky if we were not murdered, without home or oft food, I know but little what ‘normal’ households were like. But I became a 1/2-time housewife [well, working fulltime which was not par for the course at the time] in the 60s and it surely was more like the 40s than present day 🙂 ! SO looking forwards to both descriptions and photos!!

  22. You are getting things so organised! I love the ideas of a 40s kitchen manager. A good CEO sets things up so they can do what they love and others take over the rest. That’s what I see you doing.

  23. I felt all warm and fuzzy reading on the kitchen person being the pivot of the home and the farm. My grandmother’s were those women. I am thankful I was part of harvest lunches and dinners, helping in every aspect of the event. From greeting the farm hands and neighbors who came to help, to assisting in the kitchen and serving the workers. Oh, the fond memories of cleanup and lady laughter and so much good food.

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