There is one thing for certain on any livestock farm…manure. And if you have kids, they will always get it on themselves. Heck, I cannot do chores without getting cow poop all over me. Cows eat around 100 pounds of feed each day and will poop about the same amount. Now times that by 100 and you can get a sense of how much poop is produced on our farm each day. “YUCK!” you might say but to us it is part of a wonderful cycle where the cows feed the soil and it in turn feeds the cows.
Even though manure is sometimes stinky and gross, it is actually very valuable to our soil. Here is where Tim writes why it is important:
Manure is very important on our farm for producing feed for our cows. The soil and plants on our farm depend on nutrients being added back to the soil after crops are harvested off to grow the next crop. Keeping the correct levels of nutrients in the soil promotes health of our pastures and crop fields which in turn keeps our cattle healthy.
As a mom, manure stains are the worst kind. If left untreated, they leave a yellow stain that is hard to get out. We have separate “barn” clothes and nice clothes in our house for this exact reason. It is not like I can stop doing chores to go blot out a manure stain. They are just going to happen.
But when that inevitable stain does happen on “nice”clothes, I have an arsenal of defense products. I usually make my own cleaning products, but I mainly leave clothes detergent up to the professionals. My first step is soaking the clothes in a mixture of warm water and washing soda. If the stain is really tough, I will squirt some Dr. Bronner Sal Suds on it. Then I wash the clothes in warm water with Melaleuca or Seventh Generation detergent. But my best solution is drying the clothes out on the line.
Our socks always get gray and dirty looking. For them I will soak overnight in a mixture of water, washing soda, vinegar and lemon juice. I will then wash as normal and hang outside to dry.
The other day, the boys were playing behind the barn while I was doing heifer chores. Jonnie some how tripped into a big muddy puddle face first. He was covered head to toe with mud. All he could say was “dirty” in his tiny little voice. I rushed him up to the house and striped him from head to toe. Then I soaked him in the bath tub. He was so muddy, he even had mud in his diaper.
Like every household, it seems like washing cloths is never ending at my house. I really wish someone would hurry up and invent a machine that would: pick up clothes, sort, wash, dry, fold and put away. They would make millions!
Zweber Farms is a 4th generation family operated organic dairy. We are proud Organic Valley farmer members and sell our milk under that label. We also specialize in sustainably raised beef, pork and chicken and sell it directly to customers in Minnesota.Visit our website to learn more, www.zweberfarms.com