Here at Churchtown Dairy the herd continues to grow. Currently, we are milking 14 cows by hand and by machine. Amidst the changing seasons and on going construction on the farm, there are those things that give the farm balance and rhythm, much like the tide of the ocean. Morning and afternoon milking, the herd comes in for milking, and the herd goes back out to pasture. A busy farm day, and a cool starry night (a pleasure for the cows in contrast to the heat).
Overseeing the ebb and flow of the agro-tide and of worthy mention, is farm apprentice Ben Bruschke. Ben has been on the farm for four years and is a growing asset to the farm organism. His calm and gentle demeanor with the herd is much appreciated by them as he walks them to and from the barn. He takes great joy in milking, telling others it's " his favorite task on the farm". Besides general upkeep, daily chores and projects, Ben also continues to guide others from students to coworkers about the ways of the farm.
It’s just before 6 AM and the day at Triform has already
begun. This morning I’m with householder Max vom Stein, his daughter, Lily, and
co-worker, Lena, as they start the daily routine of caring for and milking
Triform’s cows. These beautiful animals are a big part of the farm and Max was
kind enough to give me a tour of the dairy operation to let me get sense of
just how these cows fit into the bigger picture of the community. While we talk, Max is busy herding heifer calves born this
spring to nurse with their mothers.He
explains that Triform’s herd is a mixed one, combing a variety of breeds,
including Jersey, Devon, and Swiss Brown cows. Once the calves are seen to, we move on to
milking. I learn right away that Triform’s cows are more than just livestock;
each has their own name and distinct personality. Lily introduces me to Stormy,
a very sweet Holstein that I’m told is one of
the cows most beloved by the community.As we settle in to milk, slowly filling our pales, Max elaborat…