When we first moved to our farm in New Hampshire, we had lots of suggestions about what we should farm. The one thing we swore we weren’t going to do was milk or dairy products. Then my cousin’s cow gave birth on our farm and she didn’t need the milk for her dairy. So we decided to try milking, if for no other reason, so we would have farm fresh milk.
Oddly enough, the milking process wasn’t as bad as we had thought. We were hand milking, my husband on one side, me on the other, one teat in each hand. We were done in about 30 minutes. Four gallons of milk! This was great!
Eventually, that cow went back home and we bought our own cow, got a milking machine and we were all set to be dairy farmers. We sold raw milk (legal in New Hampshire) and I made the greek yogurt that everyone loved. We felt like we had found our niche and could actually make money farming.
This video makes it look easy
However, as time went on, we came across many hurdles that we didn’t feel we could overcome. The hardest part was the daily commitment to milking. The cow HAD TO BE MILKED every day, even when if there was a snow storm, even if I was too sick to get out of bed. Additionally, we found that one cow wasn’t enough, and in order to maintain a business as a dairy farmer, we would have had to invest in the farm with many capital improvements.
So for now, we will continue with sheep and blueberries. Our short stint as dairy farmers was fun, but for us, not the right fit. We certainly appreciate the milk we buy now as we realize how much work it takes to keep a dairy running.
For anyone interested, I have posted the process for making the yogurt that everyone loved so much. It’s best with raw milk, which you can purchase from your local dairy.