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From the farm: More cow psychology
05-19-2024 6:00 AM

By CAROLE SOULE

Cattle, unlike dogs, horses, and donkeys, have their own unique language. They are not people, and as much as we might wish otherwise, they communicate in their distinct ways. To truly connect with them, you need to learn their intriguing lingo.Have...

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From the farm: Are cows better than horses?
04-06-2024 9:00 AM

By CAROLE SOULE

Like many girls, I wanted a pony when I was growing up. That was long ago – in the ‘50s when the Sears catalog was the Internet marketplace of the day. When the 400-page catalog arrived, I would search for the page advertising a $200 pinto pony that,...


From the farm: The magic of oxen
03-09-2024 10:00 AM

By CAROLE SOULE

Each of the 27 bovines on Miles Smith Farm has a job. Cows give birth; bulls are dads; and steers (castrated bulls) are meat (usually). I had been a vegetarian until I realized that what I hated was the cruelty of feed lots and the abuse of cattle.My...


From the farm: Tame cattle won’t gore you
02-17-2024 9:00 PM

By CAROLE SOULE

‘Look at that bull! He’s going to come over here and stab you with his horns!” The boy, about eight years old, was sharing his knowledge of horned cattle with his younger brother at the Deerfield Fair. It was early morning, and I was acclimating one...


From the farm: Coyotes are scary neighbors
02-11-2024 4:00 PM

By CAROLE SOULE

We have coyotes. We hear them at night, howling to advertise their presence to other packs, claiming their territory – the woods on Miles Smith Farm. I picture them, black eyes shimmering in the moonlight as they yowl and yip in a wave of sound....


From the farm: Cow flipping for fun and profit
02-04-2024 1:00 PM

By CAROLE SOULE

Yes, I’m a cow flipper, not to be confused with a cow tipper. If you’ve watched Chip and Joanna Gaines on TV or read “The Magnolia Story,” you know what a house flipper is. Well, that’s what I do, except with cows. Chip and Joanna work to improve...


From the farm: The mysterious death of Maybelle the cow
01-21-2024 9:00 AM

By CAROLE SOULE

Pregnant Maybelle stood at the 500-pound hay bale, swinging her wide Highland horns at any 15 weaning calves who got too close to her feast. When we set out the calves’ grain, she hung back, but when we opened the gate, Maybelle moved in to clean up...


From the Farm: Feeding a sense of gratitude
12-24-2023 7:00 AM

By CAROLE SOULE

After 20 years raising cattle, you’d think I’d be unaffected by June, the cow who walks over looking for scratches, or Tazzy, the mini-pig grunting for dinner. But despite the years, the critters still pull on my heartstrings. I melt when Venus, one...


From the Farm: Buy a steer
11-12-2023 7:00 AM

By CAROLE SOULE

Want to buy a steer? It could live in your backyard and eat the grass – your very own lawn mooer. In winter, you’d buy hay for your steer and ensure it has non-frozen water. Your steer would supply manure for you and your neighbors – as fast as you...


A Bad Year for Apples and Peaches
11-04-2023 11:00 AM

By CAROLE SOULE

New Hampshire has finally gotten a garden-ending killing frost. Until recently, backyard gardens were bursting with squash, cukes, tomatoes (green and red), and more. Garden produce exploded from the ground with the extraordinary amounts of rain we...


‘Operation Oxen’ on Martha's Vineyard
10-28-2023 10:00 AM

By CAROLE SOULE

I never thought I’d yearn to spend time on an island until I discovered Martha’s Vineyard.It’s not the sandy beaches, sailing, or fishing that captivate me; it’s the farms where “local” is defined by 60,000 acres surrounded by the ocean. Here, farmers...


Oreo Cookie Cows Join the Herd
10-21-2023 10:00 AM

By CAROLE SOULE

There is a new breed of cow here on Miles Smith Farm. This year, I imported twelve Belted Galloways from faraway Pittsfield. They are called “Belties” for short. With a white band around their bellies, they are also called “Oreo Cookie cows.” The...


Kids and Calves: the Perfect Combination
10-14-2023 10:00 AM

By CAROLE SOULE

The kids hooted as they pulled on lead ropes and dashed around the barnyard, each with a calf in tow. They didn’t need any encouragement to run in this competition; what child doesn’t want to race about with a calf? The calves were just as eager. It’s...


An Ugly Wall Becomes a Work of Art
10-07-2023 10:00 AM

By CAROLE SOULE

A few weeks ago, we had a contractor build a wall of enormous concrete blocks to contain our cattle in the barnyard and create storage space for the sand we use for their “bedding.” Unlike our fences, which always seem to be falling down, this wall is...


Middle Manager: Eleanor-the-Donkey
09-30-2023 10:00 AM

By CAROLE SOULE

A business of any size needs good middle managers, and here at Miles Smith Farm, we have a donkey who has promoted herself to "Learning Barn supervisor." She leads a crew of adopted critters who act as farm ambassadors. Because of their small size and...


Carole’s Corner: Frantic cow and frantic farmer
09-23-2023 1:00 PM

By CAROLE SOULE

The big, shaggy Highland cow darted across Route 106 as I watched, stunned, on the roadside. Truck brakes screeched as the 16-wheeler slowed just enough for the cow to reach the roadside. It was 2009, and this was the second time within moments that...


Happy Cows Don’t Wag Their Tails
09-16-2023 9:00 AM

By CAROLE SOULE

“Look, he’s happy. He’s wagging his tail,” said a visitorI watched as Titan, a 200-pound Belted Galloway steer, swished his tail. Titan had arrived at my farm with five other Belted Galloway calves a week earlier. These calves had just been taken from...


The Ups and Downs of Farming
09-09-2023 11:00 AM

By CAROLE SOULE

Last week, I shared a story about Mr. Devon, a calf whose weaning had gone sideways. He had an extreme and possibly deadly case of scours (calf diarrhea), and every treatment we tried failed. He’s the only one of the Devon breed of beef cattle on...


Mr. Devon Isn’t Like Other Calves
09-02-2023 10:00 AM

By CAROLE SOULE

Not too long ago, we were weaning 12 calves at once. Seven had been born here on Miles Smith Farm, and five more were purchased so we’d have plenty for our summer campers to train. So, twice a day, farm helper Diane and I took the temperature of each...


Taking Our Calves on the Road
08-26-2023 11:00 AM

By CAROLE SOULE

On the first day of summer camp here at Miles Smith Farm, the kids hardly knew a hoof from a square knot. They didn’t want to get their boots dirty, and some swatted non-stop at the horse flies and no-see-ums. Then they met their calves: Peaches,...


Lab-Grown Meat? I’d Rather Eat My Shoe
08-19-2023 11:00 AM

By CAROLE SOULE

Twenty years ago, I was a vegetarian. Now I eat meat, but not just any meat; knowing how the animal was raised is essential to me.For those still-vegetarians, there is a huge commercial push to create “fake meat.” Recently United States regulators...

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