I've known for many years that I was born to be a farmer. Every day is hard work, and there are countless highs and lows, but it's a lifestyle that I wouldn't trade in for all the money in the world.
Last year I came across a cute barn board plaque on Pinterest entitled "I was born to be a Farmer", and it became the inspiration for this post. These are the musings of a Modern Milkmaid™.
Aster was the second heifer calf born on the farm, and I clearly remember that September morning. She arrived before her due date, and I didn't believe my brothers and sisters when they roused me from my bed with the announcement that Blossom calved while we were all sleeping.
I'd decided years before that I was going to name the first heifer born on the farm Daisy (which I did), and the second heifer born on the farm Lily. Well, I took one look at Aster and thought, "She is NOT a Lily." It took me about a week to think of a name for her, but I finally named the new heifer Birdsong Autumn Aster; Autumn because she was born on September 5th, and Aster because the wild asters began blooming the week she was born.
Aster was black like her mum, and I always liked how she added a splash of dark colour to the herd, which ranges from black and mulberry to brown and fawn. As she matured, she developed beautiful red and brown highlights.
Aster spent close to six years on the farm and blessed me with a beautiful heifer calf in 2014 before I sold her to a family in Sunnybrook, Alberta.
Aster was an opinionated girl at times and she always like doing things her way. I can be opinionated too, so we often disagreed. In fact, my first farm scar came from Aster. We were fighting about her grain and I split my chin on her hard noggin! The scar never completely faded, so every time I touch my chin I think of Aster and all her crazy shenanigans.
Aster was smart...or maybe she was greedy. She was the first cow that figured out that when she untied the knot on her rope halter she could assist the other cows with eating their grain too! My sister Anna and I were always learning new knots in an effort to outsmart her.
I really enjoyed the goodbye photo shoot my sister Anna and I did with Daisy, so I wanted to do a photo shoot with Aster to remember her by as well. We decided to take Aster's pictures on the Baxter Bridge, which crosses the Shuswap River about half a kilometer before you reach the farm and I think it made for a great background.
I recently came across these beautiful photographs of apple blossoms that my sister Anna took, and picked half a dozen of my favourite photos to share with you.
Apple blossoms are one of my favourite flowers. What are your favourite flowers?
Birdsong Blossom's Daisy was one of my best friends. She was the first heifer calf born on the farm, and I was thrilled when she was born because Blossom's first three calves were all males! When Daisy was born I never dreamed that I would be selling her one day, but after spending seven years on the farm and blessing me with two beautiful heifers, it was time to say goodbye.
Selling a cow is always bittersweet... I'm happy that my little herd has grown to the point where I can sell one of my beloved Jerseys, but it's always hard to say goodbye to a good friend.
Daisy's new farm is really nice and she is blessing her new family with her rich Jersey milk and cream; knowing that made parting with her a little easier. But even after two months there are still times when the farm feels a little empty without her greeting me when I start my morning chores.
Since Daisy is part of my "Blossom" cow family, where all the heifer calves are named after flowers, I thought it would be nice to photograph Daisy with her namesake flower: daisies.
The talented Janice Robillard from Crocus Floral Design in Enderby made two beautiful daisy wreaths for her, and my sister Anna photographed her in front of our neighbour's old wooden barn. The weathered barn boards made a great background!
I will always cherish my memories of my time with Daisy, and I know that her new family at Crooked Sky Farm in Nakusp will be making many new memories with her!
Did you wear red on Tuesday, June 10, 2014? Our whole family was wearing red that day in memory of the three RCMP officers who were killed in Moncton, New Brunswick on Friday, June 6, 2014: Constable Douglas James Larche, Constable David Joseph Ross, and Costable Fabrice Georges Gevaudan.
Here are a few family pictures that we took that day:
Dad & Mum
The Four Girls
The Five Boys