Grit Blogs > Cultivating a Dream

Cow Assassins

We huddled in a comfortable corner of the hotel lobby. She stuffed a few pieces of chocolate kale into her mouth and said, “We’re trying to decide how to finish the cows off.”

My jaw dropped and my eyes popped open. Thoughts of the young woman face covered with a black mask, swirled through my head. Would she perform the dastardly deed with a candlestick in the library? Or perhaps a revolver in the kitchen?


Possible Victims?

Cow Assassins. Who knew? Suddenly, a steak dinner didn’t sound so good.

 She must have noticed my shock. “What I mean is we have them in pasture and we’re trying to decide what to feed them before they’re “processed.”

Maybe I should be a vegetarian.

Tom and I met this woman at the 2011 Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, Sustainable Agricultural Conference.  Tom took classes about soil and irrigation. I attended chicken classes and even listened to a man speak for two hours about mushrooms. Besides showing how he grew fungi in newspaper, he shared how he traveled around “inoculating” trees with mushroom spores. One mushroom he found brought him over $200 when sold to a local chef. (Maybe vegetarian isn’t so great either.)

We met lots of nice people, eager to share their knowledge. Attending gave us a picture of what people were doing all over the area along with valuable information to file in our sustainable-living-saturated-brains.

But I moved away from the young woman. You can never be too sure.

My question of the day is:

What animal either for meat or for dairy has been your greatest success? AND where do you live?


milk maid
12/6/2012 4:02:48 PM

We have both dairy goats and Irish Dexter cattle. Having a Dexter steer in the freezer now, I have to say the cows still give the most as they are both meat and milk producers. Dairy goats give plenty of milk for all kinds of uses but we don't eat them as there isn't enough meat on them. We are in Texas. Number 1 rule when raising your own animals for food: Don't play with your food, makes it easier when the time comes for them to jump in the freezer.

pauline hylton
11/30/2012 3:40:08 PM

Nebraska Dave. Thanks for being a pro. I grew up thinking olives grew with the red things in them so I am definitely a city girl. I think it is great that people like me are starting to question where and how the food is magically delivered to Publix or Kroger. Might make us less wasteful, more prudent. We kill fish for a living. Sometimes I feel bad for them, but I have a freezer full of them, which I think we need to have some food stockpiled for USA future.

pauline hylton
11/30/2012 3:37:55 PM

Thanks, Hank. Does ok mean you can afford to go to Ruth Crisp Steakhouse each night, or does ok mean you get by and don't really love it?

pauline hylton
11/30/2012 3:37:05 PM

Thanks for that, Heather. I've met a few of those rooster. Especially on a mission trip to Honduras. Tasty, huh?

heather jackson
11/30/2012 12:56:35 PM

We are in Alabama. We process aggressive roosters for meat. I don't like doing it, but I have children and I won't put them in a position to get hurt by one. Mean roos still taste great! We also milk Lamancha goats for our dairy needs and we buy grass-fed beef from a nearby farmer, although we have thought of raising a steer for that purpose.

hank will
11/29/2012 4:00:55 PM

I'm in East Central Kansas and have done OK with meat sheep and pastured hogs.

nebraska dave
11/29/2012 4:32:41 AM

Pauline, I live in Nebraska, the heart of the Midwest where farms abound. It wasn't hidden from us growing up exactly what livestock was and where they would eventually end up whether it happened on the farm and ended up in the freezer or taken to market and ended up in the grocery store. Although I wasn't a hunter, many farmers are avid hunters as well with the goal being to keep the freezer full of meat for the winter. It is difficult to live a life that close to the food you eat. Have a great day on the farm.