Tending to Oneself

I’ll be honest, July put me through the wringer. Between getting three stitches in my upper lip (next time I take my dog swimming in a lake, I’ll cut her toenails beforehand!) and contracting Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (watch those ticks folks), I’ve been forced to slow down and tend my wounds. Working two jobs, traveling most weekends, and raising cattle have added to the craze of this summer. So naturally, I’ve been thinking about the art of tending to.

One Year Ago I Bought Some Calves...

One year ago I bought some calves…and the world turned upside down. As someone who feels I need to be an expert before getting started, I was hesitant to jump in. However, a few mentors encouraged me to learn by doing and get some animals. One experienced grazier told me about how he bought his first heifer when he was 25 years old and had no fenced-in pasture. He put her out in the field and built the fence around her! So I got my first set of eight lowline angus calves.

Doubling the Herd

If you know me well, you know that I have a particular distaste for inspirational quotes. While I seek inspiration from reading the likes of Wendell Berry, Barbara Kingsolver, or Robyn Wall Kimmerer, I appreciate a writer who can keep it real. So when I saw the above quote, I had to share it.

It's the How, Not the Cow!

You can find messages everywhere you look that say plant-based diets will solve the climate crisis, you can also find proponents of eating meat to save the planet, and you can find individuals from both parties that have waged a vendetta against the other. I believe that food choices are contentious because we are what we eat. To attack someone's diet is to attack their very existence. I try to read widely and avoid proselytizing, so consider this simply my story of navigating our complicated food system.

Chop Wood, Carry Water

I have been thinking about the mundane. The daily rhythm of farming. There are many interpretations of the above mentioned Buddhist proverb, but what I take from it is a lesson about mindset. The everyday acts of living are the same before and after enlightenment, it is only the mind that changes. I try to find a beauty and sacredness in the chores of caretaking for our chickens, horses, and cows. After all, these daily tasks make up the majority of my life.

Meet the Crew

When I began to seriously consider raising grass-finished beef one year ago, the advice I found in every corner was to start small. So here are I am, a year later, with eight Lowline Angus cattle and a plan for gradual growth. But this is certainly not a one woman show. Despite the small size of my operation, the day-to-day labor, soil building processes, and decision making include many people, plants, and animals pitching in.

New Beginnings In Grass-Fed Beef

Thanks for joining me on my cattle-raising journey! In these newsletters, I hope to share slices of life as a beginning farmer — beef updates, photos, thoughts on our food system, poetry, failures and successes.