dairy-farming…

…in Southern Norway…

a lazy life…

Being free to roam around on lush pastures all day long – and all night too for that matter, is part of the recipee for a good life for cows. The farmer enjoys this life too – although differently, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that this is how we go about life all year round on our farm.

We have a herd of around a dozen animals, with half being purebred NRF, and the other half the smaller but very agile and productive Jersey / NRF mix. Five to seven are milk-producing cows (number varies from year to year), and the rest are young ones or cows kept out of production for whatever reason.

The herd-size is just right for our small farm with an area of around 12 acres productive grass-land and 60 acres of rock, brush and woodland. Plenty of land to graze on during the season, and natural shelters against rough weather all year round.

The animals tend to stay together, with the heifers learning “the tricks of the trade” from the cows. That's how nature intended, and it's working just fine without much intervention from us humans. Cows are intelligent beings that can read nature well, which may put them a bit above most other creatures on this planet.

naturally…

We are not buying into what's known as “organic” or “ecological” production, as those terms can be, and are, turned into meaningless sales-slogans by whoever everywhere. Sales-slogans do not guarantee improved production or products, only higher profit to the slogan-masters.

Instead, we're running our farm as close to nature as nature itself directs and allows – in line with the true meaning of the mentioned terms but without having to pay anyone to put what may turn out to be meaningless rubber-stamps on it and limit our ability to make choices while they're at it.

Ecology is the name of the game on any sound Norwegian farm, and animal welfare, needs and behavior are integrated parts. Organic farming is also well established in Norway, and we have two types of it: the few who are certified organic farmers, and those who farm this way anyway simply because organic farming makes most sense most of the time. Norwegian laws and regulations defines who's doing what and should/may use what term.

It all comes down to nature's ways on our farm, so if one wants to put a name on our way of farming, the term “natural farming” is justifiable. “Sustainable farming” is another fitting term, since it's all based on recycling nature's own resources and make them last and work for us.

Personally I prefer the term “Sensible farming”, since I can't imagine myself doing anything that doesn't make overall sense – to me. Makes sense, doesn't it?

subsequently…

Not being satisfied with only doing things as they “are supposed to be done” or as “everybody else in the trade do them”, we're in a constant process of evaluations and adjustments in accordance with local natural conditions and our own herd.

We listen to everyone who have something to say on relevant subjects, and follow laws and regulations as they apply. Subsequently: the input from our own herd – with each individual cow having the weight of (at least) 5 ordinary men and a few dozen officials, is what really counts on this farm.

sincerely  georg; sign

Hageland 14.oct.2007
last rev: 07.nov.2007

dairy-farming…

early spring morning on the pastures

If this was all this world had to offer, then it would be more than enough – for me.
— Georg

sunny winter day

It would be nice if all winter-days were like this. Luckily they are not, so we can enjoy these exceptional days even more.
— Georg

We turned our farming from seasonal pasturing to all year round free-ranging at the end of the last century.
We'll never turn back.
— Gunlaug

This particular piece of land has been farmed one way or another further back in time than any known record can show, as is often the case with old homesteads like this in Norway.
The farm's name is on the maps, and with a bit of luck it'll be kept going a little longer.
— Gunlaug

Our farm is in a restricted and protected area, so if someone should wish to turn it into something it shouldn't be, then they're out of luck.
— Gunlaug

I like staying around my big four-legged friends, as they are the ones providing me with that white stuff that tastes so good.
— Molly 'the cat'


farming…
…2000 - 2008