February Farm Update

It’s been a while since we visited the farm, so while I can’t look at anymore sheet rock photos for a while I thought I’d stop in with a quick farm update. By “quick farm update” I pretty much mean “lets look at tons of photos of cattle with some information thrown in.”

First, the upsetting news. Do you guys remember the calf I called Roxy? The first one I ever saw born? She was a beautiful Hereford and Red Angus mix, center in the photo below. I loved her markings and she had a quirky temperament. Well, unfortunately Roxy is no longer with us. We aren’t sure what happened. She seemed okay but after we sent a few cattle to slaughter we heard a lot of mooing from the farm. We all assumed because there were no signs of sickness, that maybe it was because they were worked up. Unfortunately, the farmer found her a few mornings later and she had passed. We’re still not sure what took her but it was a hard one. She was a damn near perfect hybrid of Hereford and Red Angus and was a great cow. She was going to be around for a very long time. By the time she was found there was no way to process her so her life proved at least worth something. It was most definitely sad.

DSC_2714-01

The herd is also pretty small now, so losing her was a little more of a hit. The farmer wasn’t planning on breeding again this year but here is where we hit the hopefully happy news.

After much “neighbor nagging” as he once said to me (in a very loving tone and a joking glance) he decided to breed the herd again. So, he brought in a Hereford bull from an outside farm for a couple months, in hoping something would happen. The bull is since gone, and no one saw the process (bow chicka wow wow) but we’re crossing our fingers. There were definitely ladies going through heat cycles so we’re hoping come late summer we’ll have some baby calves up at the farm. As much as I love cattle I am admittedly not some cattle expert, more like a novice at best. That said, I’ve been reading up a lot (how else do you get educated besides reading and learning first hand?) and I’m trying to go up each weekend to see if I can catch any signs of a heat cycle. We could do a pregnancy check in a little bit but they never have in five generations. Have no doubt that I’ve watched videos and read up on how to pregnancy check a cow and I would suit up with a shoulder length plastic glove in about two seconds flat if they wanted me to check (after further extensive research).

So while we wait to see if there are any calves on the way, let’s look at some photos. That’s all what you’re interested in anyway let’s be totally honest.

DSC_1695-01DSC_1724-01 DSC_1731-01 DSC_1734-01 DSC_1750-01 DSC_1756-01 DSC_1761-01 DSC_1762-01

I couldn’t end this post without two very special photos. This sweet moment…DSC_1794-01…and of course, a Hereford photo bomb.

DSC_1786-02

All for now from the homestead!

xo,

Heather

It’s A Very Mooey Mooey Christmas

Let’s take a break from the house renovations, a break from the holidays, and a break from everything that’s going on in our lives we’re working on and smile at the photos of these cows up at the farm, from this past spring. The farm hasn’t had enough love here on the blog in the last few months, and these cows deserve some face time.

Why?

Cause they’re awesome.

Oh, and while we’re at it – if you click on any of these photos they will be full size so you can print them out and frame them, you know, if you want a giant cow snout somewhere in your house.

Merry Christmas and you’re welcome. Cow snouts are perfect.

xo,

Heather

 

Moo-ing Me

It’s pretty clear that I’m completely enamored with the small cattle farm up the street from us.  It doesn’t just woo me, it moo’s me. Horribly ridiculous bad jokes aside, I love that place. One of the hayfields is our backyard, and the cows are sweet and have wonderful personalities. You can literally walk up to most of them and never think twice if they are going to buck into you. Besides the pastures are absolutely stunning. So is a Maine summer sky. This photo sums up everything that is perfect about where I live.

When we moved in 4 years ago there were over 20 head. Long before that there were plenty more. Today, in August of 2011, there are exactly 10 cows left. This includes the three calves born in the spring. I don’t really have much more to say on it except that it’s kind of sad. It’s something I feel like is happening to a lot of small farms around the country, not just “ours” (it’s not ours, but it feels like a part of us). That’s probably why it feels a little defeating to me. To me, small farms are the heart of America. The hardworking men and women who bring food to our table are slowly losing their farms; they seem to be getting smaller and smaller. I understand logically both sides of it, but my heart will always side with the small farm where I know the cows by their markings and the farmer and his wife’s door is always open.

Mostly, I just love seeing the cows. Yes, I’ve eaten some of them before. I know, it seems weird – but it’s actually nice knowing how well they are treated and exactly where their food comes from. We help harvest it after all.

All I’m saying is that I hope the cows are still up at that farm when their grandchildren grown up, and when we potentially have kids of our own down the line. One of the most calming things to me in the world is sitting in the pasture and hanging out with the cattle. I hope future generations get to experience this too.

I’m pretty sure Mr. A and I would do anything we could to save that farm. The best part is there are a lot of other family members who would do the same. It’s a good feeling.

That farm is my dream living scenario. Cows, pear trees, apple trees, a big beautiful old farmhouse and even more massive barn filled with all sorts of good antique farm & farmhouse items. Here’s to embracing the cattle that are left, loving the sweet smell of the fall air rolling over the pasture and the feel of a cows tongue as it hits your hand while grabbing an apple.

Happy Small Farm Loving,
Heather