Monday, April 28, 2008

Bovine theatre

We don't exactly live in an agricultural area. It's mountains and forest here. And snow. We are in an area defined by rural do-it-yourself self-sufficiency, and lots of people eke out little gardens here or there, cheating the short growing season with plastic and glass. But there are no fields of wheat or corn, and farms in the area tend are few and far between, often limited to just a few animals on a small acreage for family use.

Our unschooling friends and neighbours live just outside village limits, on a small bench of land just before the road heads up towards our place and on to the pass. And on that sunny bench of just under three acres, they're entertaining a stab at self-sufficiency. A year ago they installed temporary shelter for themselves, moved to the land and began planting a garden. They fenced a meadow and began accumulating livestock. They're outgoing community-minded people on a piece of land that is highly visible, so lots of folk have taken a benevolent interest in what they're trying to do. They now have dogs, cats, goats, sheep, rabbits, chickens and a dairy cow. Their vast beds of garlic and onions are sprouting already. Everyone is interested in what's new at the new little farm.

So when their dairy cow went into labour yesterday, it was a bit of a community event. It was a lovely warm afternoon; the sun was out and the timing was good for a lot of people, including our family. At peak count there were twenty-seven people sitting on the 'bleachers' (a stack of logs) in the corner of the meadow watching the cow. It really was the social event of the week.

Barb-Rose the cow is the proud mom of a little male calf.

5 comments:

  1. That's too funny...the picture of the crowd all intent on watching a laboring cow. Poor cow.

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  2. The cow didn't seem to mind at all; she's very sociable, living as she does on a very small homestead with 6 children and three adults, with other people always stopping by for the afternoon or to stay for a couple of weeks, sharing a little meadow with 7 sheep, three lambs, a nanny-goat, a kid and three dogs. It was quite a crowd, though!

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  3. What a neat experience for everyone! I would totally love to have livestock, etc., but we only have enough room for a large veggie garden, our mini orchard (3 fruit trees now going up to 6 soon), and I am trying really really hard to talk dh into some chickens (for eggs).

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  4. Having just birthed our third at home with a bit of an audience (two midwives, a student, my other two kids, husband and close friend) I've got to say I feel for the cow.

    That said, what an awesome experience for all of you.

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  5. How wonderful! And what an amazing place to be living :-)

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