Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Another blog from my other life...

I just started another blog to share our experience of raising beef cattle on our farm. If you're strictly interested in home building or timber framing, then don't waste your time at my new blog. (For that matter, why are you wasting your time at this blog?!) Seriously, if you're into sustainable farming or if you like the taste of good beef, then you might want to check it out! The short version of the story is that we've been raising cattle on this farm in between building this house. Or is it the other way around? In any case, this house and the cattle have been permanent fixtures in my life everyday for several years and I thought it was time to give them some internet exposure. :)I prefer to sell the beef directly to consumers instead of at the stockyards, and so I've been focused on the quality of the meat instead of the weight of the animals. About a year ago I started transitioning our herd (which averages 40 animals) from Angus-cross-Charolais and Angus-cross-Limousine cattle to Wagyu, which means "Japanese Cow." The beef from these cattle, when raised in the Kobe prefecture of Japan, is known as Kobe Beef... the best in the world.

Legend has it that these cattle are fed beer and massaged in Japan to increase their appetite for corn and rice. I might share a case of oldmilwaukee with them, but they'd better not rely on me for a massage. Massages and carbohydrate laden diets notwithstanding, the animals are genetically predisposed to produce tender meat with lots of marbling and even produce more of the "healthy fat" (is that an oxymoron or what?), or so the story goes. I'm convinced its mostly true, so I've invested my time and money into making it happen on our farm. We've already had 3 Wagyu calves born on the farm, so our first Kobe-style beef will be available for sale in about a year!

The new website is http://www.bluegrasswagyu.com/

8 Comments:

Anonymous Brad_bb said...

I grew up on the farm where we always had about 30-40 head. Don't forget that a bad day on the farm is still probably better than a good day in a cubicle, which is where I am. I actually buy beef from a similar producer here in IL(vacuum sealed and frozen). Heartlandmeats.com Do you slaughter and butcher yourself too?

December 4, 2008 at 5:50 PM  
Blogger oldmilwaukee said...

A bad day on the farm (getting kicked by a cow) is different than a bad day in a cubicle (having the fruits of your labor undone by a bad management decision). But definitely, I'll take the bad day on the farm! :)

We have three local (within 50 miles) butchers that all do a great job. The only problem is getting an appointment - it's not uncommon for them to be backed up over 4 months! For now and the foreseeable future, I deliver the live animals to the butchers and they handle it from there.

December 4, 2008 at 6:31 PM  
Blogger oldmilwaukee said...

ooops... sorry... you said good day in a cubicle. well that's probably a toss up vs. getting kicked by a cow.

December 4, 2008 at 6:34 PM  
Blogger mcjiggity said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

December 5, 2008 at 12:52 PM  
Blogger mcjiggity said...

With your subtle marketing approach, you are selling me on my already deep rooted idea of sustainable living in a nice untouched corner of (earth). Not to mention your persuasive technique used in selling me on Timber Framing a home.
First little one is on the way, almost time to make the jump to freedom! (from a cubicle)

December 5, 2008 at 12:53 PM  
Blogger oldmilwaukee said...

Mcjiggity,

So my marketing is working?! It's quite possible that I'm overselling it.

Without any knowledge of your situation, I can confidently say that there's more money to be found in that cubicle than there is on 100 acres. Collect what you can before you make the jump. Freedom is hard to achieve from a position of debt. Rural America is a great place to live and a terrible place to make a living. Congratulations on the expected arrival of your first. Our oldest was in the first grade before we could make the jump (back).

December 5, 2008 at 2:33 PM  
Anonymous Brad_bb said...

I never got kicked by a cow, but when I was about 9, I put a looped rope in the corral, and sat outside the fence waiting and when calf stepped in the loop I jerked the rope around his head. He immediately pulled me into the wooden fence, cracking two of the three boards before I let go of the rope. My face hurt for awhile but I never told gramps what I did and what happened. Too embarrased.

December 5, 2008 at 2:42 PM  
Blogger oldmilwaukee said...

That's hilarious. I can picture it -easily!

The worst kick I ever received was from a one day old calf. We were about to go on our first vacation in three years, so I had to move the cattle to a fence where they couldn't escape. I moved almost the entire herd, but one cow wouldn't move to the new pasture because she gave birth the day before and had her calf hidden in the woods. I went in the woods and found it - biggest calf ever born on our farm - easily over 100 pounds. The neighbor and I carried it out of the woods and I held it while he went to get the cattle trailer. Just before he left, I commented, "wow, these newborn calves are so tame, I'm surprised the coyotes don't eat them." He left and the calf kicked me in the chin so hard that my jaw slammed shut and cracked the tips of three of my teeth. The calf kept kicking but I was determined to go on vacation, so I held on. When my neighbor came back with my truck and the livestock trailer, I spit tiny bits of my teeth out. So much for my good looks. ;)

December 18, 2008 at 6:31 PM  

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