Redneck Hillbilly Search

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Beef cattle = Expensive Lawnmowers.

Beef. We have no illusions about small farming. We now understand clearly why old time farmers are walking away from it. We don't do it to make money, which is a good thing because there isn't any money whatsoever to be made. Not doing it honestly anyways.  Our intentions were to put some lawnmowers on the field and sell what we could to end up with good quality meat for our freezer either free or at least much cheaper than what we could buy it for from SuperStore.

This year, we had to sell one whole animal, and three quarters of another animal just to cover the butchering costs. That doesn't include the milk replacer, the vaccinations,  the hay we had to buy when the field was looking lean or the molasses we used to encourage them to "eat up!"

Each year we take them in to be packaged we are shocked when it's time to go pick up our order. We look at three or four boxes with neatly wrapped steaks and roasts and one pound portions of ground beef and wonder how on God's green earth that big animal we had grazing in the backyard ended up looking like so little meat!

For the last couple of years we have sold our hormone free, grass fed, ultra-lean, baby beef by the 1/4 to friends who wanted some. Practically veal! It's premium meat, we figure. About as healthy as red meat can get, some of it is so pink it's nearly white like pork. 

Definately better than the old retired dairy cows they grind up and sell in the grocery store. Don't believe me? Go sit in on an auction and watch who buys the skin and bones animals that can barely walk - They'll grind it up, douse it in breading or wrap it in bacon, or drown it in marinade, put it in a pretty box, and market it as a "quick and easy meal" to harried housewives. Anyways, back to what I was saying.

 Each year  we agonize over whether the people buying from us will recognize the deal or feel ripped off.  The stress is almost not worth the hassle. These are great people that we have known for years and have  respect for. Surely they know we are honest people and that we do this almost as a favor to them. Yet still, we fret. We worry. We agonize.

Sigh. Next year maybe we'll do two small cattle in the front yard and try our hand at raising turkeys in the back instead.  Skip this whole selling beef by the side altogether and just throw whatever meat we grow in our own freezers. Who knows?