Himself on his father's Ford 601 Workmaster.

On August 1, 1999, I married this man.  He wasn’t on the tractor that day, but we were married in a hayfield just one fence away from the cows he milked that morning.  Ever since then we have been building our house, raising our three children, and milking cows on our hilltop farm where his mother’s father and grandfather milked too.

Dairying is work.  Hard work.  Anybody who says different either hasn’t tried it, or has mechanized systems to handle milk and manure and feed.  We do not have such systems.  We farm with bucket milkers and dung forks and small square bales of hay.  We farm with the strength of this man’s back.  I can work as long as my husband does, or I can work as hard as he does, but I cannot do both at the same time like he does.  I have borne and nursed his babies, though, and of that work he was properly in awe.

The price of milk plummeted in 2006, and barely recovered before falling sharply again in 2009.  During those years, I started “working out”–taking paying work off-farm.  When I distanced myself from the mindnumbing soulsnatching labor of the dairy barn, two amazing things happened:  I no longer ached all over my whole body, and I remembered how much other stuff I like to do.

Those other interests are the things I will be sharing on this blog, although if anybody has specific questions about cows I will consider making room for answers.


14 Responses to About

  1. Christina Goodwin says:

    Really enjoying your blog, Jody…beautiful sharing and lots to learn! All my best.

  2. christopher carter says:

    Beautiful stories Jody this makes me really miss Vermont.

    • farmerjo says:

      And Vermont misses you, Chriscarter. I will never forget you skinning out the colored Angora goat in my dooryard. I am forever in awe of your knife-skill.

  3. Not really sure how I found your blog this morning, but have enjoyed reading it!! I will wander in again from time to time I’m sure!! Keep up the good work (both on and off the farm!)

  4. Marion says:

    Ah, it was my intention to work tonight. But instead I happily spent the evening catching up here, with these stories from your life. Fair trade, and then some. Miss you!

  5. Rebecca says:

    hi Jody – 2 adorable Stoddard girls came to my house on a bike and a tractor. They are fun and silly and interesting and we had a great visit. I sent them home with bike helmets left over from a copley-sponsered bike rodeo , cookies, (Phoebe – no chocolate?) and an invitation to return. They took off up the hill, with Verna to return in a few minutes asking for a ride. I drove her home but her tractor and helmet is at the bottom of my driveway. I have more bike helmets if they have friends in need – just let me know – i love to get them out there on little brainbuckets. – Rebecca

  6. Hey there!

    I’ve nominated you for the One Lovely Blog Award. Please see your link here: http://thesugarlump.com/2012/06/22/the-lovely-blogger-award/

    Best wishes 🙂

  7. Erin Lane says:

    I just found this! How could I have missed it until now. So great, Jody. I love hearing about how you spend your days.
    I miss you. Erin

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