When we conceived of the idea in 1998, it was to track Joann’s reentry into cow ownership. Although Joann has kept cows all her life, with a new edition of Keeping a Family Cow on the way, it seemed only right to see about keeping one herself again. Helen joined the family not long after. Originally the diary was intended to track daily milk production and related notes. Through the years, it has evolved into a realistic yet entertaining look at what it’s really like to run a family farm. Helen is always the star, but many other cast members are featured.
Here’s the header from the original entry:
This is a diary of my daily milkings with my heifer, Helen. As you may have read in ‘Keeping a Family Cow‘, a cow can be a friend, a confidante (she listens but does not repeat, like a good barber), and a member of the family. She can also be very moody or uncooperative. Her first calf Henry was born on April 30 1998 (Helen was two years and two months old). Her second, Hector, was born July 9, 1999. Her third, Leah (finally, a heifer) was born on June 30, 2000.
My hope is this diary gives you some encouragement, and ideas, about how to deal with your unruly heifer. Or maybe it’s just fun to read.