e-book Keeping a Family Cow: The Complete Guide for Home-Scale, Holistic Dairy Producers, 3rd Edition

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Keeping a Family Cow has not only stood the test of time, it still remains the go-to inspirational manual for raising a family milk cow nearly forty years after its first publication. Joann Grohman has a lifetime of practical experience that has been bound into this one volume and presented in the spirit of fun and learning.

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  • About Joann S. Grohman;

She started milking cows in and can no longer imagine life without one. Very little of what they teach would survive a year on the farm. Real farming and real food leave you feeling there is a tomorrow. Joann S. What Makes Cows So Important? Making Butter Yogurt and Cheese. Pasture Management. In elegant, readable prose, Grohman guides the neophyte through all the steps, from choosing a cow, to milking her, to making butter, yogurt, and cheese.

Highly recommended for anyone interested in grass-based farming and nutrient-dense food--not just family cow owners-- Keeping a Family Cow will instill great appreciation for the sacred bond between domesticated animals and the human beings who care for them. Your email address will not be published. Obviously whoever made that comment has never been oast their front door.


The manure would be a wonderful addition to the soil, and far from toxic. Another has this idea that the manure, from cattle, must be composted for 6months or more before it's applied to the land. To such an ignorant comment,I ask, just where do you suppose it's composted in fields and pastures? Right where it lands!

Yes you can put fresh, wet manure directly into your garden soil. Just take care not to add too much in one area. There are similar comments as well. Again, it's okay to not have anymore intelligence than a newborn. I don't understand the crop rotation with the 4 years of grass. Do I need to have 4 years of grass on my 0,5 acre, afterwards 4 plots with potatoes, legumes, brassicas and root vegetables and afterwards again 4 years of grass.

If I do that, where do I get food from in those 4 years of grass? Or are there 8 plots and do I have to use the first 4 for food and the last 4 for grass and switch after 4 years and rotation the crops? Sorry if my question seems dumb, but I'm not a native English speaker.

Keeping a Family Cow by Joann S. Grohman | Boffins Books

I have to add my voices to those protesting the raising of a cow on a single acre of land, with more than half of it if the illustration is to be believed taken up by house, garden and outbuildings. I tell anyone looking to raise a small number of farm animals to consider ten or twenty acres, and for something as big as a cow, to allow at least two acres per head for grazing to prevent the area from becoming a mudhole.

You could keep the chickens on this small a property, though, so I'd consider sticking with those if your property is only 1 acre. One thing to keep in mind - check your zoning before acquiring any animals. Where I live I consider rural but the powers that be here mandate 10 acres minimum to have a pig and 4 acres to have any cows. And I am allowed 2. How'd anyone come up with that? I want to butcher a cow for beef. My Dad used to raise Black Angus. What do you think?

What is the best beef cow in today's world? We live in Tennessee. I see that some people like to criticize and others are just brainwashed You don't need a pasteurizing machine, and you can not raise a cow on such a small plot either I was raised on a farm that was completely self sufficient and it was bigger than most can afford. But it also was a cotton, bean, corn, wheat farm. We had herds of cows and horses We raised chickens each year.

We killed 1 cow per year. We had a milk cow. We ate chicken MANY different ways We raised 1 pig in 32 years 4H club. We had a neighbor who raised pigs and we shared or bounties You can not do what is in this 1 acre idea I forget the number, but it's something like 2. IF you supplement the cow, then yes,cbut it would not be self sufficient then You would have to have a male and a female in each instance on the animals to re-supply the population after you eat a cow, pig, or chicken I could ramble on about how this would not work, but then I would be telling you all something that I don't know.

I DO know that there are a lot of holes in this formula If you have good neighbors, who will barter with you, you might be able to make this work I don't see how anyone could call this system "self-sufficient" when the author constantly mentions having to buy feed for the animals. If you are buying feed, you are dependent on someone else, and therefore not truly self-sufficient.

My wife, 3 kids, and I moved to a 5 acre farm in Ontario. I look to this article often as inspiration and a place to gather ideas when I need to. I am writing a blog to help others who are trying to do anything related. From gardening or chickens to hay and sheep. We will explore the topics of organization, budgeting, crafting, saving money, recipes, gardening and canning There is so much to learn on one acre.

You know every year they try to push a bill through congress to outlaw gardens? They want a dependant nation, People who dont know how to grow a bean I do think this guy is dreaming, he should buy the book about homesteading on a minifarm, to the people who think you have to keep a cow pregant to get milk from it, your idiots, at least research something before you post.

As long as a mammal is milked it will always produce, even humans Till old age anyways. I couldn't figure out how to add to my post! Check out DIY fodder sprouting systems. Consider keeping smaller breeds as they will consume less food in the winter, but still provide your family with meat, milk, etc.

If you have time and acreage, you can harvest grasses, etc to store for winter feed. Again, research.


I know someone who sewed huge bags of lightweight material to store her grasses and hand cut hay. I hand harvested buckets of leaves, weeds and orchard grass for my small goat herd to cut down on feed costs.

I dried it all in a rotating system made with pallets. My take is that you would need a minimum of five acres and 10 would be better. The bulk of that would be in grazing area for your animals. Butchering in the fall will result in lower feed bills through the winter months. The rabbits are a good idea as they take less space and plenty of offspring. Clippings from the fields would supply a lot of food plus bedding for them, manure is easily managed. Check out paddock systems and permaculture for more information.

For gardening, I'd suggest compact gardening and edible landscaping around the house. Ok, getting very frustrated with this posting system, this is my 3rd. We would eventually like to keep, 2 milk cows, 2 lowline Angus, 1 sow keeping 2 piglets every year , 2 twinning sheep preferrably, 2 for meat, 2 to sell, the original's to keep for wool , 2 - 6 turkey's for the holidays and winter, 50 chickens rotating 25 out and 25 in, every 6 months for food and for eggs , the kids want a couple of rabbits, which I am not opposed to using the fur, hair for spinning or the meat, a decent garden with fruits and veggies, fruit trees around the edge and berry producing plants in between.


Start a 1-Acre, Self-Sufficient Homestead

Some of the extra produce would go to the animals, as well as the extra milk. We are a family of 9 at the moment and I would like to produce enough for our family, so that we control what is being put into our bodies. I have heard that this is possible on smaller amounts of land, when you rotate your stock properly. A woman came and talked to us about this, stating that her bees keep her foraging food healthy and plentiful, whilst rotating the stock allowed her to keep pathogens ie: bacteria, germs, pests in check so that her animals required less, to no antibiotics.