Saw THIS today on YouTube
Did I mention that our beef is USDA inspected and appropriately labeled for retail sale? If I didn’t I needed to, this represents significant cost and effort on our part, but we felt it was necessary to comply with the rules and it would give our customers more confidence in purchasing from us. Oh, our beef is also dry aged, not wet packed like the standard grocery store fare. This means that you are getting more meat per pound as compared to the grocery since our water content is much lower.
After a lengthy process of finding and working out details with a new processor, C&F Meats in College Grove, and going through the permitting process with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture to be able to sell meat by the piece here at the farm, we’re finally open for business with regards to beef! I’m just a little tardy in getting this post up, but we’re already sold out of stew meat and rump roasts. We still have lots of ground beef and ribeyes and several other cuts. We even have organ meats of heart, kidney, liver and tongue (ok, maybe tongue is not an organ, but it’s an odd cut) for all you Weston A. Price folks out there. We’re open on Saturdays from Noon ’till 4PM and other times by appointment. Generally we’re home in the evenings, so come on down and check it out!
So far, Judith and I have tried the burgers with nothing added but a little bit of salt and pepper and they were GREAT! Some of the folks we shared with said “best burger ever!” They were a little biased since they were our parents, but seriously, the burgers are very good. We’ve also had a ribeye and a fillet. The fillet was out of this world and the ribeye was very good, but my cooking of it could have been better. We’ll most certainly be trying it again 🙂
The Belties will be ready for harvest next year (2013), but we have customers that want beef sooner. So to fill the gap we purchased three steers this spring (2012) to grow up to harvest size and be available near the first of November. This is going as planned, and we will have beef available by the whole, half, quarter and piece available soon.
It has been quite some time since we’ve talked about the cows, but this spring we had two calves born at the farm and one born two days before he arrived. All three have turned out to be healthy and growing and we’ve begun the weaning process. Even though I’ve seen it done almost my entire life, we are new to the DOING of all of this. We used a process called “fenceline weaning” where we leave almost everything the same, the same field, same move schedule, same water and mineral facilities, still in close proximity to mama; the only difference is there is a fence between the calves and the cows so they can’t nurse. There was a little bit of complaining the first two days, but since then neither the cows nor the calves make any fuss! After a week of this type of move we moved the calves to the field next to the cows and they all are continuing to do great!
We would like to announce the arrival of the newest member of Happily Ever After Farm, and her name is Speck! After looking miserable for over two weeks, Spot had a beautiful baby heifer early in the morning (before daylight) on April 7, 2011. She most certainly carries traits of her mother since she has a spot in her belt just like her mom’s, but on the other side. Yesterday afternoon she was bucking and running even though she still has really wobbly legs. Hooray for the miracle of birth!
It is a real challenge to relocate adult dogs! I now know just how much of an understatement that is. We’ve had Merle neutered and had him on restricted activity for a bit and then we tried to see if they would stay at the farm. No such luck. We got a call from a lady in Goodlettsville, two days and about 20 miles away who had found them and called. We were very grateful, but now both dogs are on a lead for a few weeks while we make sure they understand they are now at their new home. The cows have been easy, the dogs have been quite the handful.
Yesterday was a true test of a farmer’s mettle. I and my friend and neighbor Bobby Hunter and my dad were able to separate our eleven day old calf and contain him while banding him. We now have a beef steer! I guess more technically, in a week or two we’ll have a beef steer, but it’s all done now except for the waiting. In about 24 months he’ll be ready to harvest.
In other news, we have an imminently pregnant cow who we’re keeping a watchful eye on and anticipating a new arrival soon!
First of all, I would like to announce that the pictures page has finally been added properly. We are using Picasa Web Albums to do the picture management and it took me a while to find a plugin that worked to my satisfaction, and then another while for me to figure out how to use it properly.
Secondly, it has been an exciting and tiring two weeks for us as we’ve been preparing mentally and physically for the arrival of our new farm residents. I’ve been putting up fence in order to be able to move the cows daily through different parts of the field. This is good for the cows and for the field. Saturday they all arrived safely and unloaded calmly settled in quickly. Since then, they have been getting familiar with the electric fence and a water trough that moves daily, both of which are new to them. The dogs have also been getting to know the place and the new people. I’ll not be saying “pictures will come soon” much anymore since one of my Christmas presents was a small digital camera that I can fit in my pocket and generally always have with me. In other words, click here for pictures, and here are a couple to preview.