Keeping a Family Cow
The Complete Guide for Home-Scale, Holistic Dairy Producers
Foreword by Jack Lazor
Many with small rural properties have opted out of the industrial food system by obtaining a family cow. Keeping a Family Cow is the only owner's manual you will need. 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.
—Sally Fallon Morrell, President, The Weston A. Price Foundation
The cow is the most productive, efficient creature on earth. She gives you fresh milk, cream, butter, and cheese, and promotes human health and happiness. She helps the homesteaders and small farmers who offer her bounty up to the community with a chance at turning a profit. She provides rich manure for your garden or land, and enriches the quality of your life as you benefit from the resources of the natural world.
Originally published in the early 1970s as The Cow Economy and reprinted many times since, Keeping a Family Cow is the book that launched thousands of holistic small-scale dairy farmers and families raising healthy cows in accordance with their true nature.
This Chelsea Green edition of a nearly forty-year-old classic has been revised and updated to incorporate new information on the raw milk debate, the conversation about A1 vs. A2 milk, totally grassfed dairies, practical advice for everyday chores, updated procedures for cow emergencies, and more.
The book offers answers to frequently asked first-time questions, such as: “Should I get a cow?” and “How much space do I need?” In addition to answering these important questions, the book provides extensive information on:
- The health benefits of untreated milk;
- How to milk a cow effectively and with ease;
- Choosing a dairy breed;
- Drying off your cow;
- Details on calving and breeding;
- The importance of hay quality and how to feed your cow properly;
- Fencing and pasture management;
- Housing, water systems, and other supplies;
- Treating milk fever and other diseases and disorders; and,
- Making butter, yogurt, and cheese.
Keeping a Family Cow not only has stood the test of time, but it 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. She started milking cows in 1975 and says she can no longer imagine life without one. Health and happiness can’t be teased apart, Grohman says, and a family dairy cow supports both of these essential life qualities.