Inspired by the writings of Wendell Berry and wanting to raise our three sons on a farm in a rural community, we left Houston and bought a small farm in a remote community in the Appalachian Mountains of eastern Tennessee.
We started with goats, sheep, chickens and pigs. Then we contacted a local dairy and got our first milk cow, Lorna. We learned a lot about keeping a family milk cow with the help of Lorna and the book, Keeping a Family Cow by Joann Grohman and the wonderful Keeping a Family Cow website.
We purchased our first miniature Jersey cow, Dolly, a few years later in 2006.
Dolly has the typical conformation of the Guinea Jerseys that were common in the Appalachian hills and valleys in the early 20th century. These small Jerseys, imported from Britain’s Channel Island, were the forebears of today’s miniature Jerseys.
There’s a nice summary of the history of American miniature jerseys on the American Miniature Jersey website. Maureen Neidhardt, the director of the American Miniature Jersey Association (AMJA) published pictures of Dolly, sent by Dolly's previous owner, in her Rare Breeds Journal calling Dolly the poster child of miniature Jerseys at the time.
Friendly, personable, easy to lead and easy to milk by hand, Dolly fit in wonderfully in our little Appalachian farm. Now she is truly the grand dam of the Blue Mill Meadows herd.
You can read more about the history of the Blue Mill Meadows herd on the Cows and Bulls pages.