Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A Cow in the Backyard

Yesterday, I had coffee with my neighbor and she casually mentioned to me that she was thinking of getting a cow...maybe, two cows. These would not be pets. They would be cows for eating. The neighbor on the other side of her has wanted to do this as well and they have been toying with where to put fencing and exactly how this would all work. She visited with a knowledgeable farmer from our church, who mentioned that we (here's where we come into the picture) have some nice brome grass on our field back by her barn. Cows really like brome grass, she explained. Maybe we would be interested in a side of beef?

Ah...

Well...

Stutter, spit, choke...

You better let me think about it...


At the dinner table last night I brought up the subject.

My husband's response, "Excuse me...???"

My oldest's response, a silent, you've-completely-lost-your-mind stare.

My middleman's response, "We're going to have a cow in the backyard and then EAT it?" Earlier this summer, one of my kids said that the potatoes we had dug from the garden were gross because they were so dirty. We have become a bit removed from "the how" of our food reaching the table.

My youngest's response, "I think we need a leapord or a lion in the back pasture, not a cow."

After the idea sunk in for a while, and brains whirled about the workings and meanings of such a quest, the thought of raising our own hormone-free, pasture-feed beef seemed to take on a bit of acceptance. I just mowed that field over the weekend and coincidently kept thinking surely there's something interesting we can do with this pasture...

5 comments:

Living on the Spit said...

I would do it in a heart beat if I of course, didn't live where I live, and had the land to do it on...Go for it. I think it might make for some interesting posts.

Nancy said...

Have you thought about this things??
1) Cow poop smells really bad, especially in the heat of the summer.
2) The flies.
3) Brome doesn't grow year-round. Who's going to be feeding that cow in the winter time? It's every single day.
4) Water. When water freezes in the winter, you've got to go break away the ice.
5) Did I mention the smell?
6) And the flies?

Other than that, it's a swell idea!

Signed,
A Former Farm Girl (Who has had to deal with all of the above)

Jenny said...

Maybe I should clarify the cow project...at least this is my thinking. We, three families, would buy a couple of cows in the spring, fatten them up over the summer and send them to the meat processing plant in the fall. They keep the grass mowed a bit and we have beef in the winter. My uncle did this for years and when I visited, I hardly knew they were there. My uncle was pretty handy, so he may have made it seem easy. Not to worry, IF this gets going, I imagine we will start slow...maybe we can borrow a cow for the weekend. ha ha ha, I kid.

Calder said...

If the CD reads this he is going to kill me.

kimj said...

I've been trying to get a couple of men I know to put a cow or two out at the farm for years! But no one wants to deal with the feeding part of it! I say go for it... just imagine... the gentle mooing of cows at sunset as you sip a glass of chardonnay while sitting on your screened in deck (which will, of course, keep the flies at bay!). :)