This past Sunday, April 21st, was Cows’ Day here at Svanholm. Actually, it was Cows’ Day on all of Denmark’s organic farms, meaning it was the day that the cows left their barns and went out to the fields, after having been indoors all winter. It was quite the event.
About 5000 people (mostly families with children) came to Svanholm for Cows’ Day to watch the cows race out from the barn and “dance” in the field. It was sweet to see how excited both the people and the cows were about the whole thing.
The cows were released from the barn at noon and it took them less than 5 minutes to get out to the field, but the event itself lasted from 10 am – 2 pm. The day is a money-making opportunity for Svanholm, with ice cream, pancakes, cake, soup,beef sandwiches, coffee, fresh milk and beer for sale in a food tent and other goodies on sale in the cafe/boutique (frozen meat, fresh loaves of bread, etc.).
Many of us started helping on Saturday at 10 am, peeling apples for cake and preparing vegetables for the soup, working until about 3 pm in good company. The burger patty crew started at noon and finished up about 6 pm, making 2000 patties.
The next day, volunteer activity started about 9 am and, sure enough, our first customers started arriving around 10 am. People were directed to park in one of our fields and I was fascinated to watch them come streaming in continuously across the fields.
I have to say I have never seen so many pancakes made and consumed in one place! Danish pancakes are thin and crepe-like, and we served them rolled up in pairs with sugar. Two pancakes for 25 DKK (about $4.25) must have been a good deal because people were lined up 30 deep to get them.
Besides the food, there were hay bales for children to climb on and tours in a horse-drawn cart. More adventurous visitors could go find the goats and sheep and see all the babies that had just been born.
At 5 minutes before noon, the food tent shut down so that we first-timers could also experience the cows’ joy. Having seen the cows lumber in and out of the barn last summer and fall, I have to admit I was surprised to see them racing out to the field. And once they got to the field, they did indeed do a bit of “dancing” out of sheer pleasure to be outside again.
I’m already looking forward to next year’s Cows’ Day, as my current plan is to be home in the USA from late August – February and then come back here in March for 5 or 6 months. I’d be happy to host friends who want to experience this unique event. Just let me know.