We're still not ready with the pasture, but have been thinking about cows. Thinking a few bottle calves might be a good way to get started, even if it's not enough to really graze the whole field. We've never raised calves, and don't have any little calf hutches, but we're adding that to our higher-priority list. And reading. :)
Also, I've picked up Keeping a Family Cow again. Our fresh milk source was ready again mid-march, but after a few days of enjoying it, we were told it would be another week, since the Mama had mastitis. I was assured by my friend that she would call me when milk was available again. Days and days, then weeks passed, and I heard nothing. I was very concerned, so finally called to check on things. The dear cow had died! We are so heartbroken. On the up side, last year's calf was a heifer, and she is due in October, so there will be milk to be had by then. I did find another source of milk, in a direction I do not often travel, but am considering the logistics of keeping our own cow. I added up our typical monthly spending on dairy products - milk, cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese, butter - and came out with a pretty hefty number. There is a lot to consider (the advantages of knowing how your food was produced and what's in it, possible sales of some of it, possibly raising calves/pigs/chickens on the excess, education for the girls; but also disadvantages of having to be home at a certain time every day, the time involved with the harvest and production of these products, the infrastructure required, the knowledge base needed..), but we're at least doing some considering. And praying.
One step at a time, maybe we'll be a little closer to "farmers." :)