The better the grass the better the milk!
Spring is just around the corner and our eyes are set closely on the pastures.
We are awaiting the first signs of grass to sprout up out of the soil! In late March the grass usually starts to fill in and our girls (cows) will be back out on pasture happily grazing by early April.
The grass is short early in the season. At only 5-6 inches tall, it is more like a snack for the cows. We will still continue to feed them hay to satisfy them while the grass grows into its fullness.
We have about 95 acres of grass pasture on the home farm and also rent an additional 120 acres of land to grow our own hay.
All of our grass and hay is 100% certified organic and provides enough food for all of our animals.
Most of our pastures are orchard grass varieties with some clovers mixed in. To help improve the quality of our grass and regenerate the soil, we will reseed and spread a mixture of compost and soil nutrients to keep the grass healthy and growing strong.
At our farm, we have multiple pastures and move the cattle from one pasture to the next as they consume the grass.
Occasionally we will have to keep the cows in the barn because of heavy rains, hurricanes, thunderstorms and so on. We bring them in during wet weather so they don’t trample the grass into the mud (the cows don’t mind if it rains on them!).
The cows really prefer to spend their time outside eating up fresh green grass!
Right now the cows go out onto the same pasture daily. Over time they have chewed down all the grass. Once we have enough grass grown to put them in a fresh paddock, the milk production will immediately go up. This is because the fresh grass is full of protein and nutrients from lots of fresh air, rain, and sunshine!
And those nutrients transfer to the milk, too! It’s said that spring milk has the highest nutrient content compared to the other seasons.
The seasons and nature are reflected in the taste and quality of the milk.
When the wildflowers and dandelions start to bloom, the milk will start to turn yellow and the butterfat and protein content in the milk goes up significantly. The girls absolutely love the flowers on any of the weeds. Therefore, the milk will start to taste different, especially if they find a batch of wild garlic!
When you pour a delicious glass of Beiler Family Farm milk this spring, take a moment to savor the taste. Maybe you will detect hints of our orchard grass and clover or maybe even wildflowers!
-Sara and the Beiler Family Farm Team