“How can you eat the animals you raise?” We get asked this question a lot. As an animal lover, this is definitely the hardest part about life on the farm.
The rapidly growing spring grasses bring excitement to the farm after a barren, cold winter. That is followed by hot summer days of daily moves to fresh pasture and happy animals which eventually leads us to the harvest season.
This season of harvest is so bittersweet.
It’s sweet because my freezers are nearly empty but I still have hungry mouths to feed. We exhausted our pork supply a few months ago and having chicken is now considered a “treat” as I try and ration them to make it stretch.
Another harvest season means my family will be blessed again with a freezer full of incredibly delicious and nutritious meat.
It’s bitter because the animals give the ultimate sacrifice for my family and yours.
As we are gearing up to kick off our meat CSA, it was time to bring our pig in for processing.
Every time I look out my window and see the trailer loaded with an animal I get a lump in my throat. You know the lump I’m talking about. The end result is no surprise to me, yet it never gets any easier.
However, this time it was different. I woke up, poured myself a cup of coffee (with fresh cream - yum!), looked out the window and saw this.
I still get the chills when I think about it.
It couldn’t have been any more clear to me that it’s okay.
It’s okay because our animals are living their lives the way they were intended to live.
Our cows get to graze in pastures up to their bellies. The pigs can roll and rut in the mud to their heart's content and the chickens get to spend their days chasing bugs out in the pasture and mingling with the cows.
There’s no need for antibiotics or steroids when animals are raised this way.
We only slaughter during the peak grazing season so the nutritional content in the meat is at it’s highest value.
Raising and eating our own food has changed me for the better
Raising our own food has created an unbelievable, meaningful connection with the food we eat. I have found myself being grateful with each bite; eating is no longer a mindless thing.
As a parent, it's my #1 responsibility to keep my children safe and nourish them to the best of my ability.
Knowing what I know about how the majority of food is produced today makes it impossible for me to feed that kind of food to my children.
Raising our own food has also sparked a difficult but important conversation with our oldest daughter.
How much she understands at this point is hard to tell, but this year she started asking “What’s going to happen to that cow?” And we talk about it. She understands that the animal has to die for us to eat it and then we talk about why it is so important that we don’t waste anything.
Kate, who is 2, thinks she gets it. We were on our nightly walk around the farm and were by the pigs. One of them was going to the bathroom and she said to me, “Look mom, ham comes out of a pigs butt.” Don’t worry, we’ll work on it! :)
We are less than a month away from our meat CSA being ready! It’s not too late to get signed up!
The half share has been our most popular option. For $66/month we will deliver an adorable burlap bag full of our incredible meat + eggs right to your door. It doesn't get any easier than this!
By supporting a local farmer who is passionate about raising high quality food, you are helping free animals from unacceptable living conditions, putting an end to disease causing food, healing the soil that has been so badly beaten and most importantly rekindling relationships between farmer and consumer.
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