That’s an expression I heard often from generations before me. We’ve been using it around here of late, in jest, because the Homestead now has a Jersey Cow named Rosie. She looks like she should be named Rosie, maybe even “Miss Rosie Meek and Mild.” To make the story better, she hails from our birth state of Wisconsin – and she’s in milk!

This week marked our first yield of gallons of fresh, whole and unpasteurized milk, thanks to Rachel’s unflagging efforts to hand milk, and then to use an Amazon-overnight machine (which we returned to sender), and then to secure and use the old fashioned milking contraption we ended up purchasing from our amazing friends (and milking mentors) from nearby Five Arrows Farm. And it works!

After misfires and fits — and laughter spraying each other with a teet full of milk – the sight of seeing the clear lines running to the pristine steel tankard is a sight to behold. And it’s such a miracle. Reminds us of the comedian Phyllis Diller (remember her, lol?), who liked to share this story:

I asked the waiter, “Is this milk fresh?”
He said to me, “Lady, three hours ago it was grass.”

As we’ve watched Rosie turn grass and grain to milk in a matter of hours, it has made us marvel, and revel in the goodness of old-fashioned milk. In the past few days, John Mark has taken to making “Magnalia Milk Shakes,” comprised of chilled fresh milk mixed with cinnamon and coriander, served frothy in fancy glasses. It’s spectacular!

Thanks to our friends at Bugle Boy Farm, known for its garlic fields among other things, we’ve just enjoyed our first little tub of garlic butter, soon to be available in quantity in mild and strong flavors, along with salted and unsalted and a cinnamon-honey option. Joshua is focused on cheese curds. Eddie wants fresh ice cream, to supplement his other desserts of choice.

You might be saying about now: “Holy cow! They’re crazy. Why would they do this?”

The reason we’re most excited about this new Homestead adventure is that it gives us a whole new opportunity to create community, and to serve one another. Rosie milks once a day, producing two to three half-gallons per milking. She mounts the milking stanchion on her own. We’re working to create a replicable system to set up the machine and milk her out quite fast.

So this is the plan, Lord willing (everything Lord willing!). We’re creating a shared calendar to enable other families to come milk dear Rosie here, and to take the milk they harvest. We’ll keep some milk for our Magnalia community meals, we’ll create branded products to gift and to sell, and we’ll share in the adventures together…

On this land, a fallen but hope-filled picture of the past land, and a future Land, that flows with milk and honey.


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