It takes a lot of care, responsibility and dedication to produce a quality product. A product that the farmer can feel good about.
We raise our beef with pride and an understanding of what makes a cow happy. Happy cows come from our farm, in Montana.
Our pastures are cultivated in the early Spring to prepare for a heavy grazing season. Some years require new seed to be thrown. Most years require a harrow to be drug through the pasture to spread manure and leftover hay from Winter feedings.
Our cows start each Spring/Summer with a pasture full of luscious green grasses and legumes. We don't mow the pastures out here. We want our cows to benefit from every blade of grass we grow. Plus, our growing season is pretty short, so we have to savor the growth.
It takes patience and a love for the job.
We rotate our cows grazing area by a process called- rotational grazing. This means that our cows get a fresh block of pasture every couple of days. This helps to stimulate the earth by having intermittent periods of disturbance, followed by a long period of rest. It also ensures that the cows eat the available grass and legumes, which helps for a more nutritious regrowth. Our cows are 100% grass fed and finished.
We don't get a significant amount of rain here in the Summer. So, to supplement the lack of water, we have to irrigate the pastures. That requires my hard- working Hubby to move the irrigation pipes every day. Sometimes twice a day. It's a big job...Did I mention the pipes have to be moved by hand.... all 10 acres? I should also mention that he has a full-time job, so this is an added chunk of time to his already busy day. But, that's the price you pay to have the best beef around.
One of my favorite times on the farm, is calving season. It's so fun and cute to see sweet little calves running around and frolicking through the tall grass. The babies eventually form their own little baby gangs and do naughty things when their mommies aren't looking. They think it's fun to walk between the fences and lay in the grass where their moms can't get them.
It's entertaining to see that children of any walk of life like to give their parent's a run for their money.
Usually, in the Fall, we send our finished cows off to the butcher. This year has been particularly busy for our local butchers. So, we had to settle for a later than usual butcher date.
Today's that day.
Which gave me the title for this post. "Tough days on the farm".
Our cows live their best and healthiest life while in our care. We raise them for this purpose. We can proudly and confidently say that our family and customers receive the best, natural product. But some days are harder to put on your farmer face, and today is that day for me.
Without the assiduous, and diligent commitment of a Farmer, we, as consumers, would be without the hearty ingredients to nourish our bodies.
Farming is a lifestyle. A hard one.
I encourage all of you to reach out and get to know your local farmer. Buy their products. Shop their markets. Support their passion and help preserve the existence of their small farm. To them, it makes all of the difference!