While the solar eclipse is exciting news all over the U.S. today, we had some pretty big news of our own here on our little farm.
Our first steer went in for butchering today.
I remember the very first time we saw Sir Loin. He was in a neighbor’s pasture, and we were told to go take a look at him. Our neighbor wanted our heifer calf, Brisket, and wondered if we thought his young bull would be a fair trade. Dave and I pulled over onto the grassy shoulder of our country road and sized up our neighbor’s offer. The conversation went a little something like this:
Me: He’s bigger than Brisket.
Dave: He looks healthy.
Me: He has a sweet face.
Dave: I think he’s about 6 or 7 months old.
Me: I hope he’s not aggressive.
Dave: He’ll need to be castrated.
Me: What do you think?
And that pretty much clinched the deal. Later, after my favorite vet castrated the animal, I asked if everything looked good. The vet replied with something like, “You guys made one heck of a trade”. That was good news.
We immediately dubbed him Sir Loin and set about making his stay at Country Haven a healthy and enjoyable one. He was even-tempered and relatively friendly. He made buddies with our 4 month old heifer, Red Rose. They became friends quickly and showed lots of bovine affection for one another.
Sir Loin was often the first to come running when I took a bucket of produce scraps or sweet potato vines to throw over the fence. He loved his snacks, and would often follow and frolic alongside us on our evening walks around the pasture. He was always willing to stop what he was doing for a fistful of red clover, and he intimidated more than one uninformed guest by intensely staring in their direction, snorting while not-so-patiently waiting for a fresh handout.
People have long asked if it would be difficult for me to eat Sir Loin, and I’ve always replied with a sound “nope”. However, I will say that I will miss his presence. He had a sweet disposition, and he was an asset to our little farm. Having said that, we know that his purpose was to provide healthy, low-cost beef for our table. Today was the day to begin the transition from field to freezer.
I am thankful for what I learned from Sir Loin, and I am thankful for the opportunity to experience growing our own beef. As a special send-off, we were able to give him lots of his favorite treats over the weekend–mealy watermelons, cantaloupe rinds and corn husks, plus lots of fly-swatting and back-scratching to boot. He sure did have it made while he was here.
Lord, thank You for this new provision for our family. Thank You for letting us have a hand in the process and for increasing our knowledge about growing good food. May we share this beef in a way that brings You glory, showing the folks around us how big You love them!