Home on the Homestead

I asked on Facebook if ya’ll would be interested in reading about our adventures (or misadventures) in homesteading here on the blog. It was a pretty overwhelming yes. So, I’m going to try to do a weekly post about what we are doing.

I will warn you upfront. We are not vegan or vegetarian. We raise animals to butcher. They live a very happy life and meet a quick ending. Yes, I do believe killing animals can be humane. If you’ve ever seen the aftermath of a raccoon or mink killing, you would know nature can be very inhumane. I’m not going to avoid the subject of butchering animals because it is a very important part of our homestead. I will try to avoid posting any graphic pictures.

I am  also a lazy homesteader. I love the idea of homesteading but the actual practice of it isn’t as romantic as the idea. Some things get done well, some things get done half-a$$ed, some things don’t get done at all. I’m a work in progress.

This year on the homestead we have our cow, Latte, who ran away and got pregnant last year, and her calf, Schnickle Fritz, 16 rabbits (2 does, 2 bucks and the rest are babies), a herd of mouse hunting cats (a very essential animal on the farm), and a fairly large garden. We also rent some of our land to friends who use it for their humungous garden. They sell veggies at our local farmers market. We use organic farming methods but are not certified organic.

This year we were supposed to be cow less but due to a misadventure last year, we have 2 cows. Last October, we took our cow, Buttercup, that we raised from birth until she was 2 1/2, to the butcher.  Latte was supposed to go with her. Latte had just joined us that summer so she hadn’t warmed up to us just yet. Buttercup on the other hand would follow us anywhere. So the sweet trusting cow was the one that got on the trailer and Latte would have none of that.  That experience of taking Buttercup to the butcher deserves a post of it’s own. I promise, I’ll address it later.

Home, Home on the Homestead

Shortly after Buttercup left, Latte got bored and decided to join the herd up the road. We tried for weeks on end to get her back to our place but she was smart and would hide behind the bull. Our neighbor ended up getting in a severe accident and told us it was ok to just leave Latte with them for the winter. That ended up being a huge blessing. While they are not organic, they do treat their animals well. Their cows are on pasture all spring/summer/fall and only get feed and hay during the winter. She was very happy to stay there.

Our rancher neighbor brought Latte back to us the day after she calved. For the time being she is chained up until we can fix the hole in the fence that she escapes through. Schnickle Fritz roams the pasture freely but doesn’t stray to far from his mom.

Home, Home on the Homestead

Latte is half angus, half jersey, so I could milk her if I wanted to. This is where my lazy homesteading comes in. I’m just not prepared to deal with a milking cow right now so I’m still getting milk from a different farm. I need to work on getting Latte to warm up to me before she lets me near her udder.

Next week, I’ll show you my garden.

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1 comment to Home on the Homestead

  • Sue Smith

    Your story is similar to ours except in reverse. A far away neighbors cow got away from them…..(he was a loner too) and jumped into our pasture via the upside of the road. We didn’t know who the stranger was for months, when one day a man came to the door and said….uh, I think my cow is in your pasture. Well, we just let his cow stay until butchering time, when we had his and ours done. He was SO relieved. That’s what good neighbors are for…right?

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