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 Hello! From Shaina, New Member

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Shaina Posted - Feb 16 2016 : 08:51:53 AM
Hello to all Jersey lovers!

I just found MaryJane's website and the Heritage Jersey Organization less than a week ago, and am super excited to be a new member! I am looking forward to getting to know all of you, and learn all I can!

My husband and I have 3 young children, ages 5, 3, and 1 year. My husband and I want nothing more than to raise our children on a small farm and teach them all we can about animals and nature.

We live off-grid on 40 acres with our dogs, cat, chickens, and our newest member, an 11 month old A2A2 Jersey heifer named Cinnamon! She has been with us for about a month now, and already we adore her. What a sweetheart she is!

I was raised with many different animals, but am quite new to cow ownership. So any help and/or advice offered is greatly appreciated!

I am searching for a bull to breed to Cinnamon. I have been looking at MaryJane's bull, Samson, who is posted on CraigsList (leading me to MaryJane's website and the HJO). But I am having a difficult time finding an AI Tech in the nearby area. I am considering learning to do it myself. Maybe I could learn and get the needed equipment in time for next years breeding.

Thank you MaryJane for your time and help concerning Samson and breeding!! It was greatly appreciated!!

25   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
CloversMum Posted - Feb 26 2016 : 11:13:27 AM
You all are great! Love the idea of herbs growing right next to the tub so you can pick fresh leaves and blossoms to add to your outdoor bath! I'd like it to be a little less obvious than a curtain though :) so Owen will need to figure something out!
txbikergirl Posted - Feb 25 2016 : 3:45:13 PM
sorry i missed all the fun around here since yesterday morning ;>

charlene, when we went to pickup the girls from mary jane's farm lover boy was informed that by me we would be staying two nights and sleeping and bathing outside. he's a camper at heart, but a modest camper. even living 15 years with me where clothing is considered optional he hasn't quite got the hang of that. well, he found true love with that outdoor tub and forgot all about modesty. just put the tub on the darkest side of your house and only use it at night - problem solved. or janet's ideas about owen's assistance are brilliant as well.

shaina, thanks for letting us all hijack your post !
Shaina Posted - Feb 25 2016 : 10:43:35 AM
My goodness everyone. You are all so funny! I love this chatroom.:)
I absolutely love the pictures of the outdoor bathing areas!!! Yet another great book to ad to my collection! Yay!! Thank you Carol.:)
MaryJane, wow. How amazing! You are officially my idol. :)
My mom is putting together a bake house, and is wanting to ad an outdoor bathing area onto it, along with bunks. She will need a copy of MaryJanes book as well.

Cindy, I wish we lived closer. I would love to see your place! Such great ideas you have!

As far as privace goes, curtains could be hung, or lattice with some climbing plants. Oh my goodness. Starry night, reclining in a steamy clawfoot tub. I would need 2, one for me and one for my hubby. :) Uh oh, then there are the kids. I suppose we might have to take turns. Bath the kids and put them to bed. Then relax under the stars. :)

NellieBelle Posted - Feb 25 2016 : 09:32:44 AM
Where's your sense of adventure Charlene. Have Owen make you a privacy screen using pallets, hang potted flowers on the outside to spruce or potted herbs that you can pick and put in your tub water. If there's a will there's a way.
CloversMum Posted - Feb 25 2016 : 09:05:16 AM
What fun! Love the stories and I'm still trying to think how in the world would we get an outdoor tub with privacy up on our hill?? Love the idea of an outdoor tub, but not so much the lack of privacy. :) In time it will be private up here, but the trees still need to grow, grow, grow!

MaryJane, please post pictures of your grandgirls' aprons when you finish them! Darling fabric.
NellieBelle Posted - Feb 24 2016 : 5:22:57 PM
Nice to see all the photos, and Carol's post. Dale Evens had nothing on you Carol. :) I absolutely love the fabric you found MaryJane. It will make darling aprons. The little girl reminds me of the animated little girl for Campbell's soups.
maryjane Posted - Feb 24 2016 : 5:09:39 PM
Oh my, now that we've completely hi-jacked Shaina's post, I might as well go flat out. (Sorry, Shaina.)

Janet (and anyone else), here's some fabric I purchased (in pink, blue, and ivory colorways) to make aprons for my granddaughters. Thought you'd love it, too. It's from Riley Blake's Farm Girl collection.

Carol Posted - Feb 24 2016 : 5:03:50 PM
Too funny! Well, the secret's out! Here's my childhood heroine, Dale Evans ... and did you know ... her horse's name was Buttermilk!

maryjane Posted - Feb 24 2016 : 4:53:43 PM
Such a cutie and quite the rodeo queen back in the day.
txbikergirl Posted - Feb 24 2016 : 4:28:11 PM
LOVE the photos mary jane! and i am sure you do keep carol hopping ;>
maryjane Posted - Feb 24 2016 : 3:59:54 PM
I'm sure she would tell you that we keep her too busy and that all she has time to do is check in to read, but not to post:) Karina also comes here. Carol grew up around cows (and horses) on an Ohio farm.

and Mary, her horse.

txbikergirl Posted - Feb 24 2016 : 12:36:49 PM
when i saw carol posted i ran over here real quick to see what she had to add, we don't get to see her posting around here very often... nice treat!
txbikergirl Posted - Feb 24 2016 : 12:32:24 PM
thanks shaina! we have been bathing outside for decades, but carol is right in her post that mary jane definitely upped the classy aspect of it! her setup is downright elegant.

carol is also correct in that you def need it! we have two tubs that will be outside our summer kitchen one day along with another shower, but first we need to get all the plumbing and electrical just to the sinks working! priorities, priorities.
maryjane Posted - Feb 24 2016 : 12:28:23 PM
Thanks Carol!!!! What would I do without you?
Carol Posted - Feb 24 2016 : 10:42:27 AM
Hi Shaina.
I had to laugh when I saw your post this morning! MaryJane herself invented the outdoor clawfoot bathtub idea. In her book, MaryJane's Outpost: Unleashing Your Inner Wild, published in 2008,

MaryJane gives step-by-step instructions for "Riggin' Up an Outpost Bathtub," telling you how to heat your outdoor bathtub with propane. You definitely need one at your place.

Here's a link to her book:
farmlife Posted - Feb 24 2016 : 09:41:15 AM
You should ask MaryJane about outdoor bathtubs. Do you have any of her other books or get the magazine? Great ideas!
Shaina Posted - Feb 24 2016 : 08:04:18 AM
Thanks for posting the links!!!! I still have not gone through all the topics. :) So helpful you all are!! You guys have some great points on barns and milking ease. I am definitely looking into a cement pad now. Thanks.

Cindy. I am excited about your outdoor kitchen!!! How neat! Who wants to be stuck inside cooking when the weather is nice? Not me. :) Have you seen any outdoor bathing idea. Clawfoot bath tubs outdoors! Cool!!
CloversMum Posted - Feb 21 2016 : 4:30:43 PM
Yes, make milking in the winter as comfortable as possible! Walls are necessary to break the wind ... we even used free pallets to create a wall and it was amazing how much weather it kept out!

farmlife Posted - Feb 21 2016 : 2:44:13 PM
As someone who milked in Montana over the winter, mild though it was, I would add some sides to that roof and cement pad. At least three sides with the open side facing the direction least likely to get wind/weather. That said, there were some times milking this winter that I had that exact setup and my pinkies still went numb while milking. :)
txbikergirl Posted - Feb 21 2016 : 2:01:36 PM
shaina, the only advice i have (i am still new to this whole milking a cow thing) is that if you have the ability to have a small concrete pad with a roof to start milking then that is fantastic. i actually intended to just milk in the barn, a stanchion to the side of the cow corrals where they sleep/eat. but with the summer kitchen going up last summer, lover boy said "lets add a 10x30 extension to give you a milking parlor". and so we did.

its amazing. at this point we still don't have the electrical or water hooked up, so i just have a hose and an electrical cord.... BUT the concrete pad with fixed stanchion and side rail make it so efficient, enjoyable, clean for me. and we are a RAW milk family, so that cleanliness gives us such a piece of mind as the concrete makes a clean difference.

we actually added on the milking parlor knowing that in ten years we would have a real barn and would repurpose this extension... but we are familiar with that concept, as everything we do may have to be altered over time. we pay cash as we go so many times do a "short-term" solution knowing we will change later on. and some times that later on is ten years ;>

also, read the side-rail discussion as mary jane's side rail is fantastic - i wouldn't be without one now. and i think with you having little ones it would give you peace of mind getting them to start milking - prevents any accidents as even the most wonderful cow might have a fly or something bugging it and make it lift a hoof untimely.
txbikergirl Posted - Feb 21 2016 : 05:42:05 AM
shaina, my lover boy constantly reminds me that we do NOT have a barn we have an equipment shed ;> apparently there is a huge distinction. all i know is that we have a run down large three sided structure that can house some livestock and hay and tractor - that's enough to call it a barn to me!

look over in the "housing" area of the chatroom. we have a thread about milking parlor construction there so you can see what i have been up to as well as others

now charlene would be your go to gal for barns right now, they just finished one and are making plans for another. lovely barn! she has that thread here with some lovely photos

our weather in east texas is much different than yours, we rarely get snow and when it comes it sits around for a day and looks pretty and departs. as such we can work outside 12 months a year, and entertain outside at least 10 months a year. so we put up, all by ourselves, a large freestanding patio called a summer kitchen and are installing water, electrical and gas. then we attached a milking parlor to the side with the same amenities.

the thought was that remodeling a house kitchen is way too expensive, but the structure kit we got for this was just $4k (our house kitchen is the size of a postage stamp, and our interior living area also tiny for entertaining). we positioned it on the edge of the garden, so i can harvest and take it right there to process, can, cook. etc. and our barn/pasture is a ways from the house, so bringing the cow up to the adjacent milking parlor means less far to walk with heavy milk cans, etc.

its essentially a modern day take on the old summer kitchens, and we have gotten almost everything off craigslist for super cheap. its now our favoriate area of the "house", even though it isn't officially part of or even attached to the house.
NellieBelle Posted - Feb 20 2016 : 3:40:26 PM
Shaina, my dad gave me that book, Back to the Basics, 27 years ago when I first moved to my farm home. It was helpful on several occasions.
farmlife Posted - Feb 20 2016 : 10:32:23 AM
Shaina, I posted on my newest Jersey, Alex, under she's all mine.
txbikergirl Posted - Feb 20 2016 : 09:32:17 AM
shaina, you are in gods country! gorgeous, as your photos attest.

it is meaningful work. very meaningful. i am so tired on saturday and sunday nights, from being outside all day, but it is such a GOOD tired and i am so satisfied all day. i now have nieces that come to visit that love the life too, you can see that for the first time in their lives they are really LIVING and deriving so much peace and satisfaction from the land and animals. it is so heartwarming to see that.

by the way, i forgot to mention that "cinnamon" is my nickname since when i was little. i have reddish auburn hair that is really cinnamon color in the sunlight - at least when i was younger without the oncoming grey ;? so my parents started calling me that and it stuck
Shaina Posted - Feb 20 2016 : 08:14:32 AM
I forgot. Yes we are in Northwest Montana. :)