We decided to put some cattle on the property so they could eat this coveted grass, mainly to reduce the fire danger. Grass eventually dries out and becomes fuel for wildfires. I also wanted the experience of raising our own meat, grass-fed, no hormones, no antibiotics.
We have traveled past feedlots, squinting our eyes against the blowing, manure-scented dust, cattle packed like commuters on an afternoon New York City subway. I have read Michael Pollan's descriptions of factory cattle farms and feel uncomfortable with that model for raising livestock. Do I still eat cattle from places like that? Yes, but I've cut back on my meat consumption because I feel guilty! And in about a year I will be able to say that the steak I am eating came from a cow raised with respect. And it was spoiled rotten.
There are times when it snows here and the grass is covered with the white stuff. For those times, we bought some bales of hay from a neighbor and stored them in an old stock trailer. We only had a few days of severe snow, but you would think that we'd opened a gourmet restaurant when Tom busted out a couple bales of hay.
At first one guy noticed what Tom was doing.
It was like Nordstrom's half-yearly sale!
When they get a little hay on a cold afternoon, they have extra fuel for the night. That's what we were told.
Ms. Pearl was kept under wraps.
Now, when we are working around the ranch, guess who thinks we are treat dispensers?