FALL’S BOUNTY AND THE FIRST FROST OF THE SEASON Today we take a virtual visit to Organic Valley farmer Jonathan Gates’ dairy farm. And what a worthy visit it is…
On my way to the barn this morning, at about 4:30, I could see by the yard light that there was frost on top of the car. It was late in the fall for the first sign of frost. After prepping the milking equipment, I put on a jacket and some warm gloves as I penned up the cows in the holding area for milking. I wondered once the sun came up how much of the farm would have a coating of frost.
When I came out of the barn after milking, the sun was streaming through the trees on the hill. It was a very light frost, with the lawn if front of the barn having a heavy due but the pastures on the flat below the barn were dotted with frost.No killing frost yet. A thick mist enveloped the cows as they grazed in front of my parents’ hoiuse. The younger heifers behind the young stock barn, and the heifers and steers across from the barn stood around as if waiting for the mist to burn off before going out to graze. It wouldn’t take long for the dazzling sun to take care of the moisture suspended in the air, and set us up for a perfect fall day.
I headed to the house to take my turn in the shower to get ready for church. The maple tree in front of the Horsebarn is almost at peak fall color, and the morning sun really made the colors pop! Even the spider webs, jeweled in dew and catching the sun’s rays, looked especially beautiful this morning. These crisp, clear, fresh fall days are probably some of my favorite days of the year, and make me feel very lucky to be living where I do. Even a hand print left on the frosted car windshield is a blessing, giving me a chuckle as I head into the house from the cool outdoors.
Follow Organic Valley farmer Jonathan Gates as he reports weekly from his Vermont family farm. Howmars Farm is a certified organic dairy farm, one of many Organic Valley/CROPP Cooperative farmer members who supply the milk that goes into making Stonyfield’s yogurts and smoothies. The entire family pitches in on this third-generation farm. Check out some of the happenings on his farm on his Bovine Bugle Blog.