Thursday, January 28, 2010

Trouble with #6

I am at a loss. We utilize an electric fence on our home place to keep the livestock in. It will give you a pretty good jolt if you happen to touch it, believe me I know. Now here is the trouble, I have one cow who seems to be completely immune to the fence. There is one section where she simply walks through. That would not be be bad enough except now she thinks that she is now at the buffet table. She drifts from the round bales to the small square bales that I have in the hay shed. She must know who irritated I get for she has gotten to be sneaky about it. She waits until I am done with morning chores and then decides that dinner is served. The dogs do a great job of keeping her in, if they realize that she is out. She has gotten good enough that she is able to dupe them most of the time as well. I should not be surprised for she has been this way even when she was young. The first spring when she became old enough to realize that the grass is greener on the other side she was always out. Even when I turned the fence on and she zapped herself three times she still has not learned, or she has become immune to it. The snow on the ground acts as a great insulator and obviously she has learned this. Spring will be here soon and the snow will be gone and let's hope that keeps her in.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

A community learns

Attended the screening of the movie "Food Fight" last night. It was sponsored by our local food cooperative. We had about 131 people attend the event. After the showing of the film we were lucky enough to be invited to speak on a panel of local growers/producers. The movie/documentary focused on how our food in this country has changed so much over the past 60 years. It was the advent of WWII that lead to the biggest changes. The military wanted to find ways to fatten up their troops as quickly as possible. Traditional foods and traditional eating were not getting them fat enough, hence the invention of processed foods. By taking commodities such as corn and soybeans and turning them into calorie packed foods the troops quickly gained the weight the military was looking for. Translate this into today and now we have an epidemic obesity problem.

Our part in this is helping to provide a safe and healthy product for families in the community. A recent article in Men's Health outlines how and why grass fed beef is so much healthier for you.
The link is attached.

It was such a great feeling knowing that we are not only providing people with a better food alternative, but have become better stewards of the land. We will keep you posted on the next upcoming screening.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Grass vs. Corn

It was great 2009. We served more customers this year than last and we are starting to build our repeat customer base. I always try to make sure everyone gets a sample before they order. Grass fed beef is not for everyone. Unlike corn fed beef the grass fed beef will not be as fatty and mushy. It always amazes me how people equate "mushy" with tenderness. Tenderness comes from fine texturing not from meat that has no body and is "mushy." Also, grass fed beef will have a distinict flavor. How the animal is cared for, what is was fed and how it was slaughtered will really show. Because you are eating meat that is not laden with fat the flavor of the meat will not be masked by the fat. The fat tends to hide and insulate any sins that occur during the raising and harvesting process. Being shipped in trucks half way around the country and then being brought to a slaughter house that harvests thousands of animals per day causes a great amount of stress that would show up more in the meat if it were not for the fat that surrounds it. What happens to all of that fat once it hits your plate? You trim it off and throw it away, more waste that you are paying for. Grass fed beef has little waste both on the plate and in the pan. With no waste and great nutritional value you are truly getting a higher value product.

New Year and It is COLD

The holidays are over and we are settling in looking forward to spring. The weatherman predicated that it would be cold this morning and they were right. Woke up to -24F this am. Good thing I spent yesterday making sure we would be prepared for this. One of the automatic waterers was giving me trouble. The heater that was in it was not cutting it, it was only 125 watts. So, I replaced it with 250 watt heater. To act as a back up I also install 75 watt light bulbs in each waterer. It adds more heat and allows me to see that everything is working with one glance. Regardless, there will be some ice this morning.

Going out now to check on everyone and feed my steers their daily ration of special grass. Good thing they are hairy!