It all started with a divorce...

2 cows + 2 donkeys

50 acres, and over 200 years
of Ancestral Farming

Over 10 years ago a close friend was going through a
divorce and asked if my husband and I were willing to
take her 2 mini-donkeys and 2 mini-belted galloway cows.
She knew given that we had the land and we 'talked' about
the interest of farming...she had us.
At first it was about raising beef for our family.
One, because when you have 50 might as well
put animals on it. Two, we knew where our beef was
coming from and that was important to us. There wasn't
anything genetically modified, they weren't being fed a
corn diet. But a real diet...grass.​

Raising cows is easy...and it's hard.
For the hard part, it's the winter time. We still do not
have a tractor that can haul round bales to our pasture.
We still have to set up our round bales, fence them, then
manually push and roll them out to the pasture. Have you
done this in the dead of a VT Winter? Have you done this
in the middle of a snow storm? It's tough work and
I'm grateful I have 2 strong sons' that can now help with
that task!​

Cows drink lots of water, especially dairy cows. And we
actually go through some very dry summers. There were
times for a month that our spring dried up and we had to
fill up several buckets of water from our own home well
and bring to the cows. Back and forth...every day!​

But other than those unique circumstances that do come
up, it's easy. If they have a field of grass and
water, they're content!​

How can we name our cows and eat them?
All my boys know is that our beef at dinner has a name
and it doesn't bother them. Listen, when you have a cow
in your herd for 10 years or more you do get an
attachment but there's a practicality and purpose. We
don't raise a number of beef that we can't handle, we
raise it for our family and friends. The death that gets
me more are the calf's that don't survive, that
for whatever reason they only lived 1 or 2 weeks...they
didn't have a full chance. But this is mother nature and
you learn these things when you have your own farm.​

Naming the cows is our purpose to keep track of them and
it's just a thing for our kids to pick out fun names like
'Skywalker' (my son was very much into stars wars at the
time). ​

Where to go now?
My husband and I have debated this question on 'do we
grow our herd more or not?'. Every since Covid-19 we
sold our beef to our local friends so quickly because
there was a need. But the thing is my husband and I run
other businesses and not only do we not want to out do
ourselves we also want to be careful in only having a
herd that is sustainable. I dislike waste and I dislike
like the current 'fast food'/'chain restaurant' culture
the U.S. has created. It's a food industry gone wild and
our expectations as a society on food equals if its not
cheep; I'm not getting it.

Well...try being a farmer and living...real food
shouldn't be cheep! So that's where we are at now and
I'll keep you posted. Are you a little farmer that
ponder these same things?

Please email me - I'd love to hear your story!

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West Hartford, Vermont