26 April 2021
Milk, and thus the peasant’s cow, are at the heart of the original Faroese economy, according to the team at Posta Faroe Islands who point out that a 1999 study of food composition with figures from 1813 shows that cow’s milk accounted for about 45% of daily energy intake.
The importance of milk and of cattle farming is celebrated with three new stamps showing local cows and the farming process. We see a woman milking the cow in the stable on one value, and a typical Faroese cow and bull in the field as they would have been seen in the late 1800s, on a second stamp.
The third stamp brings together the elements of farming, showing the head of a cow, the yield of grain, hay and milk, and in the background the ‘infield cycle’ surrounded by fertilizer which, yes, included cow dung. According to the Faroese post office, workers carried the cow dung on their backs out onto the field and sprinkled it on top of the terrace-shaped lawns. The mixture was then combined with soil, treated and, eventually, the fields became sufficiently fertilized for the production of grass and hay to last for the next five or six years.