The Pot of Gold

WE FOUND IT! The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow!

One of the most storied rainbow myths is the one of a pot of gold at the end of every rainbow. Not only that, but that the pot of gold is guarded by a tricky leprechaun. The legend goes like this:

Once upon a time, the Vikings lived in Ireland, looting and plundering as they pleased, then burying their ill-gotten treasures all over the countryside. When they eventually departed from the Emerald Isle, they inadvertently left behind some of their booty, which the leprechauns found. Now, the leprechauns knew the Vikings had gotten their treasures through stealing, which was wrong. This bad behavior made the leprechauns mistrust all people, Viking or not. In order to ensure no humans could take what they now considered "their" gold, the leprechauns reburied it in pots deep underground all over the island. When rainbows appear, they always end at a spot where some leprechaun's pot of gold is buried.

Now, not that I believe in myths or anything, but I have always heard about the "pot of gold at the end of the rainbow," and that phrase popped into my mind as I was snapping the following pictures. So I  figured I'd look further into what the whole story entailed and found the above information.

The other evening, just as we were finishing up our milking chores, a little rain shower moved through the area. It rained for 10 to 15 minutes, then moved on and the sun came out.


I looked out the kitchen window while straining the milk, and noticed a gorgeous rainbow behind our shop. I grabbed the camera and ran outside.


I have always known this is a special place. But I never would have believed the rainbow's end would be on "our" place.


Let alone BOTH ends of the rainbow!


The girls were enjoying their alfalfa hay and the day's last rays of sunshine.


Miss Lilly in all her "still" pregnant glory. You can just make out the rainbow above her withers.


I found some interesting parallels between the above story and the average man's standard of living now-a-days. You can bet the Vikings weren't looting from just the rich people back then.


In today's society of the declining dollar, we feel blessed to have found a way to live outside this system of legal looting as much as possible. After many years of chasing the dollar (which seems to be just as elusive as the pot of gold), we have found the dairy cow to be, if not the actual "pot of gold," at the very least, the "key" to the pot of gold.

I really like Joann S. Grohman 's view of it in her book "Keeping a Family Cow." And since I can't say it any better, I will just quote from the book:

"An over-arching truth about the cow is that she drives the domestic or small farm economy. By living on a constantly renewing resource, grass, she is able to support not just herself and her calf, but your pig and chickens (neither of which can live on grass) and still provide milk for the house. The reverse is never true. No pigs or chickens or any other non-grazing animals can live on grass or support another animal. And the cow does it on a free resource made from water and sunshine. Through her sovereign ability to convert grass, which otherwise has no value, to milk and meat, which does have value, the cow produces wealth. She thus vaults the domestic or farm economy into a self-sustaining mode. Even with the most exacting sweated labor in the orchard or garden, you can't grow plants that will support reproduction in pigs or chickens or any other non-grazing species including humans; the best you can do is fatten them. This key fact about the cows should never be forgotten.


"The cow is a primary producer of wealth. She can support a family. She not only turns grass into milk in quantities sufficient to feed a family but also provides extra to sell, and she contributes a yearly calf to rear or fatten. The byproducts from cheese making (whey) and from butter (buttermilk) will support a pig or two. Her manure improves her pasture and when dug into the garden, results in plant growth that cannot be surpassed by other growth mediums. The family that takes good care of its cow is well off."

If you are harboring any notions about how "wealthy" we are monetarily, I would be willing to show you our bank account. Trust me it's not impressive. However, there are different ways to obtain wealth and different types of wealth. You've heard the phrase "a penny earned is a penny saved?" I think that would apply here.

What you are saving by making all of your own dairy products and food from scratch at home versus going to the supermarket, is astonishing. I would hazard a guess that food fills a large category in everyone's budget. If you can derive most of your calories from dairy products, the meat you raise, the garden you shovel that manure into, then your food bill from the grocery store has almost been eliminated. If you are raising a large family, the savings are truly amazing. This crew can go through a half gallon of milk or more at meal time. That's 1.5 gallons a day just for drinking at meals, not counting the NUMEROUS times they come in from outside and ask for a glass of milk. If we're talking about cheese, two pounds at a meal is almost not enough for them. Our oldest son just turned 10. We often think about what the calorie consumption of six boys will be in five to 10 years! It would be scary if we didn't have the cows. Fortunately one gallon of whole milk contains about 2,700 calories. That's like 11 power bars!

One more quote here from Joann, and I like how she says it:

"A psychology of abundance is healthier and more fun. No need to be stingy. With my cow, I am able to serve exceptionally fine food and I am not stingy with the butter and cream. My cow supports my chickens so I always have eggs. She also gives us a calf so there is no meat shortage. Her extra skim milk supports a pig so there is no bacon or sausage shortage. And she provides fertilizer for the garden so there is no vegetable shortage. The cow is a generous animal. She improves life for everybody."


Another pot of gold!

If you haven't already thought of it, and you have a family to feed, consider getting a milk cow to further your ability toward an independent food source full of abundance and nutritional value. If this ideal situation isn't possible, why not consider supporting a small raw milk dairy near you by purchasing a share in a cow or just a gallon of rich whole milk to preserve the abundant, productive, natural resource next to you:)