Sunday, April 14, 2013

Change of Plans

Normally I'm excited whenever I buy a new animal. And I've been looking forward to having another cow around for quite some time now. But for some reason, I felt no excitement at the idea of bringing Flash the Jersey home...

I wrote it off as nerves at first; after Mattie died, it seemed only natural that I would be hesitant about getting another cow, and a Jersey at that. But there was still that "off" feeling... Something's not right here. I wasn't comfortable with the idea of buying her. The only thing "right" about her was her price tag. I thought, and thought, and thought, and finally came to the conclusion that the uneasiness I was feeling was due to the fact that I was about to take on a lactating cow that was wilder than Peaches ever was. And Peaches gave me a hard time as it was. Flash is a chronic kicker, she's not halter broken, and she has a 30' foot flight zone; meaning that if you get within that thirty foot bubble of hers, she'll bolt. 

Yes, I could have dealt with it. I could have had a ultra rough week and broken her in, but it wouldn't have been fun. I would have needed chain hobbles and/or a kick stop, ( I probably would have bought both), a 20' length of chain so that I could work on desensitizing her without her snapping a rope, and it would have taken a LOT of time. She was also prone to mastitis, and I really didn't want a cow that had that problem.

I did not feel good about bringing that cow home. But at the same time, I felt bad about cancelling on her. So I did what I always do when I'm torn on a decision. I get advice. My council group these days seems to be made up of four people: A good friend, my parents, and my grandpa. The vote was unanimous. Cancel on the cow. Wait for a better one.

So I took their advice, and cancelled on Flash. I just gotta' be patient. 

But meanwhile, I do still need a source of income! The cow would have been that source, but now that she's not coming, and I don't think I'll do any cow buying for a couple months yet, I need to switch to Plan B: Microgreens. I've been growing these all winter; tweaking and perfecting methods, experimenting with different kinds, and just generally trying to get a better feel for this little crop. I've never considered myself a gardener, but I have to admit that I love these microgreens. They are fast, fun, easy, and amazingly tasty. I have a huge salad of pure microgreens with my lunch almost every day and I adore it. :) 

So since the cow will not be coming this week, I will instead be focusing my attention on microgreens. Getting a greenhouse erected so that I can grow the greens year around, contacting chefs and seeing about getting some permanent orders down, and buying some more seeds. I really do think that these microgreens have potential. Now it's time to put my hunch to the ultimate test.

I was totally not expecting a turn of events like this. But I have to admit that I'm rather relieved knowing that Flash will not be coming after all. I will still get a milk cow eventually. But it will be the right one. I will wait.


maddie said...

Your spunk and sensibility impresses me. Way to go and have fun with the microgreens!

Beth Rankin said...

Here at The Wild Ramp Market in Huntington the micro greens that our Producers brought in over the winter sold quickly with people clamoring for more. We personally have been supplying herbs to a local restaurant for over 4 years so I think you are on the right track to make that kind of arrangement! Go girl go!! Can;t wait to meet you!

Anonymous said...

Glad you're being carful. There is one cow I milk that kicks to kill when you try clean her teats. Her nickname is 'KneeCapRemover'. If I ever got a cow I'd look for manners first and production second.
Please write about your greens!!! I'm really interested in that since I have a large family of nine and buying organic greens kills the food budget.
Recently we bought the 'half pint' fodder machine 12 tray. Would that work for greens?