In my novel, Misty Hollow, Joel Greenfield’s passion is to own and operate a thriving dairy farm. He’d love to see his great grandfather’s farm filled with milking parlors, grain fields, silos, and jersey cows grazing in the fields. But it’s an impossible dream. He can’t even read the operator’s manual on a milking machine. Illiteracy has held him captive for too many years. Now he’s angry with God for putting the hope in his heart.
But after a kind dairy farmer gave Joel the opportunity to work on his farm one day a week, Joel has learned a few things. He’d like to tell you a bit about running a dairy farm.
Dairy cows are milked twice daily—first thing in the morning and again around dinner time. To prevent contamination of the milk, their udders are washed after each time they’re milked. The milk is stored in large stainless steel or copper kettles, and is picked up one or two times a day by a tanker truck to be taken for processing.
Most dairy farmers grow their feed on the farm in order to cut costs. Cows are sent out to graze in the pastures on grass and clover. Farmers also feed them hay, alfalfa or grain, and cows can eat while being milked. Stalls need to be mucked out daily, ensuring cows have a clean place to rest. Most farmers compost the cow manure and use it to fertilize their crops. Cleaning milking machines is important as well, to remove bacterial cultures.
Like on any farm, there’s plenty of work to be done. Dairy farmers are on the job from early morning to sundown most days. Family members each have their chores. After a farm becomes established, a farmer might hire hands to assist in the daily process. Not only is the farmer required to understand how a milking machine work and how to best produce a grain group, a hardworking farmer must act as a business man, keeping books, balancing accounts, budgeting repairs and purchasing machinery.
Joel Greenfield will be the first to admit. Dairy farming is a challenging profession.
Here’s the blurb:
Molly Cambridge arrives in the tiny Appalachian town of Misty Hollow intent upon bringing literacy to the area’s uneducated women, only to be met by opposition at every turn by the headstrong, unbending mayor. When she asks for use of Town Hall, he refuses her offer to teach without pay and turns her down flat saying he only allows village business conducted there.
Joel Greenfield, son is a poor dirt farmer, is illiterate. When he admits to his passion to turn the family farm into a dairy business, the obstacles are insurmountable. He couldn’t even read the manual on how to use farming machinery, much less generate the necessary capital. His father’s objections further frustrate his desires.
When Joel offers Molly use of the old barn on the Greenfield property, they discover an irresistible attraction for each other. But the mayor has plans of his own to break them up, send Molly back to Nashville, and seize the Greenfield farm for himself. Can Molly and Joel overcome the hurdles to fulfilling their dreams and find their way to each other? Only God has the answers.
June would love to give away an e-copy of Misty Hollow to one lucky commenter – so please jump in below to enter!
An award-winning author, June Foster is a retired teacher with a BA in education and MA in counseling. June’s book Give Us This Day was a finalist in EPIC’s eBook awards and a finalist in the National Readers Choice Awards for best first book. Ryan’s Father was one of three finalists in the published contemporary fiction category of the Oregon Christian Writers Cascade Writing Contest and Awards. Deliver Us was a finalist in COTT’s Laurel Awards. June has written four novels for Desert Breeze Publishing. The Bellewood Series, Give Us This Day, As We Forgive, and Deliver Us, and Hometown Fourth of July. Ryan’s Father is published by WhiteFire Publishing. Red and the Wolf, a modern day retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, is available from Amazon.com. The Almond Tree series, For All Eternity, Echoes From the Past, What God Knew, and Almond Street Mission are available at Amazon.com. June enjoys writing stories about characters who overcome the circumstances in their lives by the power of God and His Word. Recently June has seen publication of Christmas at Raccoon Creek, Lavender Fields Inn, Misty Hollow, and Restoration of the Heart. Visit June at junefoster.com.