Saturday, August 2, 2014

Year after year. . .

Today is a bit of a milestone.

I hesitate to even pen a post about it because this page, while it is a working farm page, has rarely spoken about processing livestock for food in direct relation to my family, my farm.

I don't think the base I've built here in 5 years comes here to hear about fresh from the farm meats. You guys are here to see lovely, fanciful photos, hear about rescue horses and learn about dairy husbandry and farm advocacy matters. . ..right?

As most know, I've been a vegetarian for about 17 years now. I added fish after 16 years n 2013, but I quickly found that would be, at most, a once or twice a month event for me. . .

Raising your own food is something I SO believe in. I do NOT advocate for widespread vegetarianism and after spending time as a vegan from 18-19, I discourage that diet entirely.

My family is one of boys and a husband living as happy omnivores and want to do it sustainably, ethically and as often as possible from our land.

There is not better way.

My confession? I've not really allowed that to happen.

I'm compassionate now and again to the point of idiotic when I'm attached. I let misguided compassion lead to me avoiding the very thing this farm is about too often.

Now, we always sell our production animals not retained here to working homesteads and farms where they go on to produce offspring that will be used for supplying the families with food, yes. . .

But here. . all has been quiet on that front.

I find myself holding onto a few straggling meat rabbits too long preferring to sell them for breeding stock, keeping goat kids "BUCKS" too long hoping to sell them as bucks and avoid wethering to raise for meat. . .bull calves lingering as bulls instead of being steered. . .

And I've always been able to sell, and no. . .it hasn't been at a financial loss as breeding stock sales often recoup more than the livestock's value as food for our family, but. . .

Farming doesn't work that way, not effectively over the long term.

It has worked for 5 years because we have been very original in the breeds we've brought to the farm, always harder to find livestock (heritage or very selectively chosen bloodlines), investing in excellent genetics making the offspring valued for breeding and worth buyers while. I'm glad in a way as it allowed many sincere homesteads to bring the RIGHT, healthy animals to their farm to start their Journeys all over this coast, really.

But Today makes a point where, though it has taken me YEARS to get here. . .that is over.

No more only supplying other farms with livestock to make them more sustainable from their own land, trying to only buy what we can raise here EXACTLY how we believe is humane from other farms to support their local meat production.

Not for me, and in this step that happens today, I hope it all really comes full circle . . .

Understanding, in a way not matter how I ponder it and believe in it, I couldn't before today.

And I may, being the softie I can be, rent my garment, go out in sack cloth and heap ashes on my head, too. . .

There is ALWAYS that



Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds. For riches are not for ever: and doth the crown endure to every generation? The hay appeareth, and the tender grass sheweth itself, and herbs of the mountains are gathered. The lambs are for thy clothing, and the goats are the price of the field. And thou shalt have goats' milk enough for thy food, for the food of thy household, and for the maintenance for thy maidens

- Proverbs 27:23-27

"I know of no pursuit in which more real and important services can be rendered to any country than by improving its agriculture, its breed of useful animals, and other branches of a husbandman's cares."

- George Washington