Meet the Dairy Goddess
Have you seen a woman in a tiara at your farmers market? Sometimes she wears a flowered wreath in her hair, but whatever she’s wearing, Barbara Borges-Martin (a.k.a. the Dairy Goddess) always offers an array of homemade cheeses from her family’s dairy cows. She and her family make great cheese from satisfied animals.
When we last spotted the Dairy Goddess at SLO’s Saturday morning market, we picked up the Azores blend: a fromage blanc with roasted red pepper and parsley, Portuguese style. Now, we need some bread that’s worthy of this cheese…
First published on her Dairy Goddess blog, Barbara’s account of a visit to her pet heifer Chica—who had been at Cal Poly State University’s dairy unit while delivering a baby—is reproduced here with permission. The Dairy Goddess blog helps put a face to the farmers (and animals) who still work the surviving family farms in California, especially dairies.
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Dairy Goddess Is Proud Of Chica…Milking Well!
by Barbara Borges-Martin
After working the farmers markets today we got to stop by and check on Chica (our cow, still at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo) and her bull calf Nino.
Our timing couldn’t have been better. It was milking time. There was my Chica lined up and ready to go.
It was nice to see a full bag on Chica. I think she was proud too. Honestly, I think she was showin’ off her stuff for this photo! LOL
Priming a cow before placing the machine on is important not only to get her to let down for the milk to flow but also for quality check. We want to make sure that she and the milk are perfect.
Meters show how much milk is given per cow. Chica gave 43 pounds of milk for this milking. An average of about 86 pounds per day (Cows are milked twice a day) That is a good number—way to go, girl!
After a pleasant milking, Chica is ready to reward herself: time to eat! She is looking forward to her fresh mix of alfalfa/silage/grain.
Chica and the other cows are fed the very best. Diet is important for all lactating mammals.
One last scratch for the road: even though Chica was ready to go eat, she stopped for one last scratch on her way back to the barn. Thank you Chica (and all cows) for the wonderful milk you provide!
Barbara Borges-Martin is a 3rd generation dairy farmer who married a 3rd generation dairy farmer 26 years ago. Their dairy farm is located in Central California. She produces the Dairy Goddess blog in order to help people learn exactly how the food they eat gets on their plate. She hopes to help give a better understanding of her life and industry.
photos: Dairy Goddess