Sheppard Farm on Apple Hill

Heather Sheppard-Lunn
(717) 634-8101


Pasture News. A Highland Blog. 
3.31.2021, Winter Comes Full Circle.

I’m feeling some big emotions today. We’ve been so worried about Winter‘s calf, when would it get here how big would it be would she be OK?

Winter story started three years ago in the late March snow storm. At the time, we had nowhere to put a calf but in my bathroom to keep it warm. For two weeks we carried her outside to walk. We worried that she was going to make it. We worried when she didn’t drink enough and we worried when she drank too much. During those first two weeks,  she was showered with love by three little girls who wanted nothing more than this calf to make it. Our whole family poured our love into this calf. Maisie learned to use the potty because of this calf. Carys sat and read to her. Eva carried her outside and walked her. My husband and I made & washed countless bottles. Winter grew stronger & we knew she would make it.

When she outgrew the bathroom, Winter moved to a barnyard and was raised by a Mini Horse and a Donkey. When she started growing horns, we pulled the smallest fall weanling over and gave Winter a heifer sister. Cherry pushed her around but helped her act more like a cow. We watched her grow slowly over the summer and there were tears when she moved over to the Main Farm to continue her journey as a weaned heifer. She was headed to "Kindergarten." 

Every time we’d see her, she would come to us for love and to check on her girls. Winter's personality was still the same, and my girls watched her grow and be a good heifer. She continued to grow and thrive.

Last summer, Winter came to our house to be bred. She was still our Winter, she looked after the girls when they were in her pasture. She hated her boyfriend. She’d come to the gate for scratches and bath time. Once she was bred and moved back out to the pasture, she relaxed back into herself, but always came to her family. 

And today I watched her give birth to her first calf. I walked up to her as she was pushing, scratched her and told her it would be ok. Then the calf’s head came out and I helped her with the last push...even if she didn’t need it. And told her she was a good cow every step of the way. She has cleaned him and he’s nursed all on his own. I brought Winter's girls to see her brand new calf, Sven. Most mothers would not want people near their new calf. Winter proudly introduced her calf to my daughters and accepted their treats and brushes. And as she’s lying here with her new baby, I am overcome.

She is my family’s love embodied in a vibrant amazing creature. She is sleepless nights. She is Maisie’s laughter. She is Carys’s hugs &radiant smile. She is Eva’s resolute personality. She is my husband's comforting disposition. She is my heart. Winter is the years of Highland devotion.

Each calf is our responsibility, our charge to ensure the best life for them. Winter has come full circle and I got to watch and be apart of each moment. I am blessed to be the steward of this Highland farm, this land and these animals. I am thankful for this beautiful day and thankful to bear witness to this Beautiful Life.