Summer Dairy Farming
The centuries-old practice of summer dairy farming in Norway is a good example of how people made the best possible use of available natural resources. Pastures near the main farm were grazed in the spring and fall. In summer, cows, sheep, goats and in some cases pigs were brought to the summer dairy farm, seter, in the hills or the mountains. In this way, one could make use of the rich and abundant grazing lands farther away from the farm. The production of milk was highest and the quality was best when the herd could eat its fill in lush mountain meadows. When the mountain dairy farm was close enough to the main farm, the milk was brought home daily. Otherwise, one would live on the mountain farm for the summer and process the milk there. Women milked the cows and made cheese and butter. Children watched the herds. The growth of commercial dairies during the last half of the 1800s represented major changes for summer dairy farming. As a result, many summer dairy farmes went out of production.