Thursday, May 17, 2012

Silver is on his way to Streeter!

This morning my MIL and FIL agreed to take Silver the steer to streeter to the meat processor. Silver is a steer that from the beginning hasn't been afraid of people and he looks really good. When I say that, I mean he's fattened up nicely, was finished the last few weeks on oats and looks delicious!  So, he made his way down the road. Silver was almost getting tooo familier with people. He didn't know how big he was so it was almost aggressive.  I'm excited to see how the meat is. I know the meat cutting will be wonderful, they do a fantastic job, just want to see what he's like.
We've kept back about 5 steers for butchering. Some of them have been spoken for by friends who are buying the meat. I'm sure one will be for us. There is something very comforting about knowing where your food comes from and how it was taken care of and raised.
I also have a connection to the food. I helped raise it. I bedded his barn. I helped feed once in awhile. I named him. Okay, the fact that I named him might be a bit morbid for some. You name pets, but it was a great way to identify him beyond, #84. But, while I'm invested, from the beginning, I've understood the investment. I am taking care of you so you can be eaten. I'm very proud of that. I like being part of that process and chain.
I'm pretty careful with the kids though. I try to only get them attached to heifers because we have been keeping a few for replacements. So, they'll stick around awhile. But, I also know that my kids will be raised with the reality of having cattle. We have them to eat, to sell so other's will eat, and while I didn't grow up with cows, I was raised knowing this and it was just part of the process of life. We take care of animals, so they can take care of us, and in this case, we take care of them for food.  It's a very cool tradition to be a part of in North Dakota or anywhere.
We are actually going to get a couple pigs this summer too. We'll fatten them up and slaughter them as well. It's hard to find people with market pigs, so getting our hands on them has been harder than we thought. I'm glad I'll know where they are coming from.
Eventually, I hope to have chickens again, but I'll only raise for eggs, not for meat. I admit, I have raised for meat and I hated the day we have to pluck and butcher. It was a pain. I just don't have it in me to do it all. I realize I'm being a big baby, I don't care. I hate butchering chicken, so I won't do it.
We've cut our own beef in the past, but it's a lot faster for someone who knows what they are doing and has the correct equipment and facility.
In addition to the garden, I'm excited to see how much food that we won't have to depend on a grocery store for this fall and winter. The amount of money I saved because I canned all my own tomatoes last year has got to be pretty high. We canned close to 200 pints and I use about 2-4 per week. Add that my MIL and my mom also use from the stock and I gave 20 to my neice and I should still make it until I get more tomatoes from the garden. Very cool.
Well, I have work to do, so I better get at it. The house needs a serious go over...It's not dirty, but the toy clutter has got to go.

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