Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A Dozen Country Thoughts

These are simple things I learned growing up on the farm:

  1. I learned to shake the milk. The cream rises to the top of raw milk and can be skimmed to use for other purposes. If you're going to drink it... ya gotta shake it! (or stir it) To this day, I still shake the milk, even though I'm not drinking raw milk anymore.

  2. Shaking the cream makes butter! Yummy, pure, unsalted, butter!

  3. I learned to french braid by practicing on my horse.

  4. I learned to give a cow a shot of penecillin. The needle was so big I could see down the barrel of it. I had to stick her three times before I got it in. Man their hide is tough. They said that cow had been 'down' for several days, but having been stuck with a gigantic needle three time, she was up and moving in no time!

  5. I learned about butchering chickens. Mom did it several times. I'm not sure if it was a novelty type thing, or if we were poor and needed food. I remember the hatchet, the flopping, and the plucking. Not a pretty sight, but was purposeful. I also remember that Grandma was quite learned in this area. Once I shoed a rooster away from flogging my little nephew. She caught wind of that and the next day there was chicken soup at her house!

  6. I learned to develop a taste for REAL vegetables. There is nothing like a fresh tomato or green beans right from the garden! When the tomatoes are ripe, one could take a salt shaker to the garden, pluck a nice big plump and juicy one and eat it warm... Mmmmm... And when we snap the beans I tend to eat a few too many! Got to love that home-grown taste!

  7. I learned to ride a horse and have been riding all my life. Still love it!

  8. I learned to milk cows. Yes I can milk by hand or with the machine and still do from time to time. I was even the Dairy Princess for a year in my youthful days.

  9. I learned to cherish the cycle of life... from the miracle of birth as animals are born into this world to the cycle of letting them go when their purpose has been served. My pony was born right into my arms and took her first breath there. I helped deliver numerous calves. For a time I was the calf-walker-feeder-lady. When it was time for them to go, big or small... it was sad.

  10. I learned how to make "Ferd-bergers." You call the steer 'Ferdinand' and when the meat hits the freezer you can make Ferd-bergers. HA! I also recall a story about "Lucy" but you'll have to ask Mom about that one.

  11. I learned to drive a tractor. Dad made me disc the garden continuously until I was ready to get my permit. I have a tractor I inherited from Mom. It was her Dads. It's a Farmall A. My friend fixed it up and is using it, but one day it shall fall back into my hands. Every time I drive it I think... Grandpa would be so proud!

  12. I learned to chew timothy hay and eat purple clovers! Thanks to my Grampy.

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