Eco-village loses a beloved milk cow

Story and pictures from

Introduction (and pictures at bottom) by Raoul Bedi ( ): It is refreshing, and even somewhat mind-expanding, to read about how the community at OUR ecovillage  had bonded with their recently departed cow “Bossy” to the point where she was  literally a family member. This article offers a very different and altogether unheard of perspective, in contrast to the modern view that sees a cow as a “commodity-producing composting unit”! Perhaps the final frontier of agriculture is not science and corporatization after all , but instead, developing a personal, sacred, relationship with water, the land and the animals, as the Native Americans have always done. As raw dairy farmer Michael Schmidt would say ,”We need to put ‘culture’ back into agriculture”.

Mike, with Bossy, the much loved community cow. Photo via

It is with huge, huge sadness that OUR community has to report in that we have had to say goodbye to OUR beautiful Bossy – family cow extraordinaire. She had been with the land for the last two years as the start to OUR onsite cowshare and brought so much learning to hundreds of children/youth/visitors who came to participate in some way to learn about hand-milking, making butter, and the joys of seeing a baby calf in OUR barnyard.

After a major response of Calcium loss right after delivery of her calf last week….Bossy aspirated something into her lung and developed pneumonia (which not one of us or the Vet could shift).  We tried everything from antibiotics to parallel attempts with Homeopathy….every two hours round the clock.  Between all of us – and big acknowledgement to the night team of Raegen, Ini, Spoons, Rob, Erin….and even Freya! She was showered with loving healing from everyone who could show up to help….and with deep grief we took the vets advice and laid Bossy to rest by the pond in the top field.  Ini told us all a beautiful story of how he felt compelled to go to her in the barn paddock and he just felt like she was saying ‘she wanted to leave’!

He let her out of the paddock with her calf, and she travelled around to the small yurt/behind EcoNest, over to Freya’s House, then back in front of the pond across from the large yurt.  From there she suddenly collapsed.  Five minutes later the vet (God Bless Chris Urquhart!) happened to time his drive into OUR ecovillage.  He checked her lungs, which were not holding up, and requested that she be put down immediately.  This all happened very fast and every one of us on the land held ceremony on the spot…..and she passed away gently with the highest of prayers and large amounts of tears.

New calf, Violet.

Beside Bossy – was her beautiful new heifer calf VIOLET (yes, it is the V year of the alphabet on OUR farm).  She is a very sweet calf and now very attached to humans as OUR little friend.  She certainly will be hand-raised and have a great relationship with kids and groups….Erin and Freya have started her off right!

We all felt really protective of this little orphan and yet chose past OUR own needs for hers and have her fostered with Amanda Barry (gotta love this woman and her ability to juggle yet another calf in the midst of her huge herd of various critters and beautiful farm kids) for a month or so to get her some good momma cow milk and build up her immune system for these first precious months.  We miss her already and she has only been gone a day.

As for OUR Cowshare…. we will keep you posted.  We may be open to cow sitting or free leasing for the summer to give another farmer a bit of a summer break.  We have word out there and are taking proposals.  Let us know any feedback on this please.

If you have pictures or writings about Bossy we are making a commemorative legacy page for her (OUR Green Burial just took a twist!).

Life springs anew and you can imagine a round rock headstone sitting in the morning light abreast of the pond ….marking OUR dear friend’s resting place.

About OUR Ecovillage: O.U.R. ECOVILLAGE is a sustainable learning community and demonstration site located in the beautiful Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island, near Duncan, British Columbia. We base our work on Permaculture principles and offer learning opportunities for Natural Building, Sustainable Food Production and Leadership. Visitors are welcome for educational tours (see the calendar) with a presentation and walk through OUR permaculture demonstration site and village community, including our beautiful natural buildings. Work parties welcome you to participate in various activities throughout the season. So come on in and have a look around! For more information please visit or call  (250) 743-3067.

Photos of OUR ecovillage below, by Raoul Bedi:

the main yurt for indoor meetings and gatherings at OUR ecovillage

Brandy Gallagher, the founder director giving us a tour of their amazing and unique cob houses.


Filed under News

2 responses to “Eco-village loses a beloved milk cow

  1. stephanie ryan Pawlikowski

    wonderful article about the love that Bossy gave and recieved and the on going circle of life that now continues with baby Violet and the care and nuturing she recieves! Bravo! 🙂

  2. charles jasunas

    Sad story, but she gave new life and that is what’s going to hold her memory of love alive. I’d love to have a cow as a pet but no room in the back yard.

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