Tomorrow, we are very excited to greet our new heifer, a spring 2009 born Murray Grey calf. The Murray Grey breed originated in NSW, Australia, a very interesting country that I had the opportunity to visit in 1997, but that is another story for another post. The Murray Grey breed are known for their lovely temperaments and extremely fine carcass quality. Our heifer is a very good looking, feminine animal.
I grew up on our farm, and at county fairs every weekend. As a teenager, I was part of a delegation of four to represent the Commonwealth at the National Dairy Judging Competition in Madison, Wisconsin, and represented the State in Lousiville, Kentucky at the National Dairy Quiz Bowl Competition. At both competitions, I placed in the top handful in the Nation. Suffice it to say, I can see quality in an animal, and when I saw this Murray Grey heifer in the field last fall, I instantly fell in love. She is beautiful. She will make a fabulous herd-mother in a few years.
That is the planning scale that it takes to farm. Maybe not farming in the Mid-West, or on a factory-farm, but that is the duration of time that it takes ’round these parts, to get a high quality product. We have to plan at least three years in the future: cows carry their calves for the same length of time that humans are pregnant – 9 months, so for nearly a year of any given female animals life (only after she is two years old) she could produce one calf every year, or so. If that calf happens to be a bull, and not one that we need to market as a potential sire to other herds, he needs to grow for almost 30 months (two and a half years) before he achieves butcher size and taste.
Ask me what my plans are for tomorrow, and I might not know, but I do know that we will have a Murray Grey calf born in 2012, who will be ready for butchering in 2014, or so…
On a totally different subject, but, still, S l o w…
Chickens! I have received some information about our next crop of chickens for roasting. Any other takers, any interested? We will be raising that first harvest of 2010 soon, and when they are all reserved, they will be gone, much like the Thanksgiving turkeys, which we could begin taking reservations for soon. So, if you are looking for Cornish Roasters, raised on vegetarian feeds, in a healthy and sustainable farm setting, under the watchful eye of our family, please contact me soon.
Pork is coming. Portia and Petunia will be leaving our farm soon. You probably know them better as the huge spotted pigs in the pasture with the cows that you see when you drive by. It is a realization that P & P will not be able to carry piglets and be mothers, that breaks my heart. They are fabulous pigs and I heartily recommend Gloucestershire Old Spots pigs to anyone who wants a truly gentle pig. On the flip side, The GOS makes for a tremendous eating pig. I have a few customers who have contacted my about specific roasts and cuts that they would like. Do you have a favorite cut?
Have you ever had HICKORY SMOKED PORK CHOPS? Let’s talk.