I can't believe that the new year is almost here. Already!!
This past year has gone by so fast, I can still rememeber things from last winter like it was yesterday. We've accomplished quite a bit in the past year, more than I thought we could ever do at the time! We completed our first year as cheesemakers. A huge challenge to say the least! We're hanging on to business, even during a sluggish economy.
Emily turned 3 this year, which has been exciting and exasperating!!! We skipped the so called "terrible 2's". I thought I was getting by pretty good. Yeah...right!!! She just saved up until she turned 3! The things she has learned over this past year have amazed me. She can write her name, most of her letters and numbers, and can spell out about 5 words and recognize a lot of sight words. I KNOW I didn't do that at 3! But...sometimes she's just a little too smart for her own good! Like the time she had a little fuzz ball in her tights at church...she was practically undressing herself during the meet and greet part of services! Oh My!! And then one Sunday she stood up and declared she had a "wedgie". Loud too! This child does not know the meaning of "whisper". Love her to pieces though... couldn't live without those crazy, embarassing moments. Although, I would like to maybe minimize how often they occur..
Our farm has seen it's challenges this year. The grain price soared through the roof, while our milk price stayed ho-hum. Hard to pay for the feed if we don't make anything from the milk. We have had several people call about buying a "family cow", but just don't have enough cows milking right now to part with any. Hoping that next year we'll have a group of about 10 to sell. We may still have some young heifers to sell this spring, depending on how many heifers are born this March and April. Hoping it's not an all bull year, again.
I just finally caught up our herd book. Each month we take samples from each cows milk, and also measure how many pounds she milks (8.6 lbs= 1 gallon). Generally our cows hold pretty steady around 40 lbs. a day during the warm months when they are on grass. We have a few that milk more, and some that milk less (usually our first calf heifers). We run tests on the samples of milk to measure how much fat% and protein% and SNF% (solid non-fat). After those are done, I enter them in a book where we keep detailed records of each cow, including her calving records. I kind of enjoy doing that, but have found that it is hard to keep up with it each month at times! Especially when we were making cheese 2 times a week. Now that it's winter, I can catch up on the book stuff, including our favorite (Just Kidding!) doing the taxes. Ugh! I usually don't mind doing them, in fact I used to get excited to do them, but this year is our first year of including the cheese business and I don't look forward to that challenge.
Getting the stuff organized will be half the battle!! You should see our office! LOL Looks like a bomb went off in here. That may have to be my New Year's resolution... organize!
Now, I'm off to get something done today. I actually don't have to go anywhere, except the cheese house later to wax some cheese, and wipe down the shelves in the walk-in cooler.
Hoping that this coming year is a good year!