Thursday, January 12, 2012


We love our Cowies. We originally bought 2 steer and a heifer. We bought the steer to raise for beef. Grass fed natural hormone/antibiotic/steroid free beef. Then the guy we bought them from told us that he had a heifer for sale. They were all at lower prices than what were on the market at the time, And we were anxious to just get our "farm" going. So we had 3 cows and you know we kind of just did what we read to do. Animals basically need 3 things; food water and shelter. Once you get that in your head and you get away from the"right" way to do things, it makes it just fun and easy.

We bought them all young, around 6 months old. Generally, people slaughter their steer at around 2yrs old. Well we got them in march, and just before thanksgiving we realized our steer were bulls. Yep, they had a couple of meatballs up under there. This does happen sometimes. They are castrated at just a couple months old, from a process called banding. They put a rubber band (not an actual rubber band) around the young bulls balls, and after a few days the whole thing just fall off. Well in this case, the testicles slipped back up into the stomach during the castration process. So one of our bulls had just one testie and the other had a full set. Anyway.

So we put them up for sale on Craigslist. We figured we could sell one and use that money to butcher the other. So that's exactly what happened. BUT of course there was an adventure to it! This Arab guy from San Diego calls Nathan and in a distinct Muslim accent says, " I want to buy your bull. But I butcher on your property. And I no use gun. I slit his throat" HAHAHA ok weirdo. So Nathan tells him that we don't have any supplies or the equipment to butcher. He assures Nathan that he has done it before and he will bring what he needs. So Nathan tells him he can come over and check it out as long as he pays for the for the bull before he does anything to it. Lol. So yes, the guy ends up coming over. He is totally Muslim, wearing a robe and yamica. He has a big bushy beard and pulls up in a mini van. Yeah. So he does it. And it actually turned out to be pretty neat. He had definately done it before, so he knew what he was doing. He ropes the bulls feet together so it fell to the ground. Then the guy slit its throat, it was quick. He then hangs the bull onto the pulley system and starts working on him. He gutted him, skinned him, it was a very clean process. And through it all, he was saying prayers to Allah. Yes, when he killed him he said a prayer to Allah, and all through the process, praying. It was a sacred thing. So he bagged up all the bad parts, and came away with 4 quarters of the cow in the back of his mini van. He put his robe and yamica back on, said another prayer and drive off into the sunset.

Soon after that, we fattened up the one bull left for us, then called Bernadino out to butcher him. Bernadino is the guy here in Anza that everyone calls to "take away" their animals. He was professional, super fast and easy. Bernadino takes the gutted, skinned cow to Cathy (she's the lady that processes the meat into nice little packages of steaks, roasts and ground beef) and we are now waiting for our freezer full of beef:-)
Calling Bernadino out to kill, gut, skin, and take away the cow is $100. Then Cathy charges based on the "hanging weight" that is the weight of the cow when it is hanging upside-down all gutted and skinned, head off and feet off. So the hanging weight of our cow was 360 lbs. Just on a side note, the hoof weight of our bull was about 650 lbs. Hoof weight is the weight of the bull while he is alive. Then Cathy processes the meat from there. From buying the cows, raising them on our natural grassy land, paying Bernadino and Cathy, our meat all comes out to about $4.50 / lb.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Homesteading 101

We have loved the mentality of life up here. It's fun " using" the land. We are slowly on the path to becoming a tiny bit mire self sufficient. We kind of dove in with both feet (how does that saying go?) so it has opened us up to a very steep learning curve. We like the idea of letting our land and animals work for us. So I will start with talking about CHICKENS:

This was our first animal. We call chickens the gateway drug of the farm. They are fun and easy. Chickens are always happy to see you, and they are born to lay an egg a day. I know, why doesn't everyone have chickens!? They do not need a rooster in order to lay an egg. But, if there are roosters within the flock, the eggs that the hens lay will most likely be fertalized. Roosters are doin their thang with those hens all day long! We had one hen sit on her eggs day after day. So we didn't collect those eggs. And yes one day, they hatched right underneath her! I know! Just like in a cartoon. We have also incubated eggs. That was super fun.
I sell the eggs to a lady from church. Because of different issues we've had with critters getting into the coupe, we haven't had an over abundant supply of eggs. The cold weather also decreases egg production. Because of those two things, we reallly haven't been able to consistently sell eggs. We have always had enough for us though, and we like giving the occasional dozen out to neighbors and family. But its always a lesson, we spent the day just recently moving the coupe around and completely securing it from unwanted visitors. So we'll see if we can start being more able to sell the eggs.

Colt's job is to feed the chickens ever morning, let them out in the afternoon, and collect eggs daily.


What the heck happened to my chicken post?

Friday, January 6, 2012


Well its been several months since I posted. Out here in goat ville, the internet is so slow, it wasn't even worth it, so we cancelled it. And I've had a super fun smart phone ( Droid incredible II) for a couple months and had to download a Blogger app and even that was confusing. So anyway, hopefully I can do our little life up here some justice.

I guess before I get into the farm life of it all, here is an update on us:

COLT: He is in 1st grade and such an easy kid. I mean, he does what he's told, he loves learning. He is a concerned, loving older brother. He makes friends so easily at school. I tell him that other kids like him because he's nice and he's happy like Jesus. Colt has no problem helping me out around the house and farm, IF he is asked. Other than that, he'd rather be watching calliou, or curious George in his underwear. Colt loves playing with stuffed animals. He says he doesn't know which ones to love. He let's himself express love to things very easily, like his daddy. They both have big open hearts. On another note, Colt is also very feminine. He always wants to wear my lady shoes, womanly sweaters, bras.. he also always picks out pink and purple for coloring things, and whenever he is picking out a character for a board game or computer game, he picks the girl character every time. So I'm just sayin...
Colt is also very confident and independent. Every day, he wants me to just drop him off at the curb for school. While most moms park, then walk their kids in to the classroom, colt never wants me to. I ask him every morning if he wants me to drop him off or park and walk him in. And every morning, he says "just drop me off". I'm so proud of him.

Charley: my little thing. That's what I call him. It's so weird how different my relationship is with charley than with colt. Charley definately plays me. He is the baby that gets away with everything. I am wrapped around his little finger. I have cuteness attacks on him all the time. He totally gets his way with being snooty. Really, typical spoiled 3yr old. But he's cute and he gets a lot of attention. He is generally happy. And he is super loving. He loves giving hugs and kisses, and he loves hank too. He will lay on hank and let out this loving sigh and tell me to look at him. He loves bananas and gling gleeze (string cheese) and ga Baas (granola bars) charley is so easy with being told what to do. He sits up to eat for meals when he is asked. He has no problem brushing his teeth, getting his pj's on and going to bed.. most of the time!

Nathan: Ahhh, where do I even begin with talking about my honey? He is everything to me. He loves being with us. I know that when he walks in the door after a long day, and he gets down on the floor and takes those boys into his arms with the biggest smile ever, I know there is no place in the world he'd rather be. He has a way, and he has always had a way of making me feel like a million bucks. Proof that its not about things, or stuff in this life. Nathan loves working on projects around the farm. Cold, windy, snowy, any weather, he just gets stuff done if it needs to be done. And hello world, we are NOT floating in the pool all summer long anymore! But Nathan and I were both prepared for that and we wouldn't have things any other way now. Well, Nathan loves serving in church too. He has taught me how real the Savior's love is. Nathan is kind to people that I normally wouldn't care to be kind to. He gives people a second chance, over and over again. In a good way, with pure charity. He likes making people feel good about themselves and he is never quick to judge. As for being a dad, Nathan has a calm authority about him. A loving authority that the boys respect. Nathan brings a calm spirit into the home. He teaches the boys to have respect for me as their mother. Nathan never ever brings the stresses of work into our home. Just being married to such a gentle, confident, brave, amazing man makes me automatically a better person. You are just better when you associate with someone of his stature. I crawled into bed one night last week and Nathan was already in bed. I snuggled way up to him to get warm and I found a cozy little spot, just draped myself over his warm body. I let out a big sigh and thought to myslef, "this is the safest place on earth." That's how Nathan makes me feel.

Me: I like our change of life here. I like that we don't have to worry about what the neighbors are thinking. I like the slow pace of life. I like that my boys aren't scared to come in the house totally muddy after playing in the mud puddles. I like that I don't have to look a certain way. I love that I can have the boys pee on the side of a building or in a bush if we are out and about and nobody is gonna look at me like I'm a gross inapropriate mom. I like that other moms are the same dang way out here! It's a small friendly town and people aren't so stuck up in their own superficial lives that they can't be nice to you. Everybody here is nice and they don't mind saying hi just because. I am falling more in love with the women from church. We don't have very many members that come to church, but we really are a church family. The women have been so kind and loving and have accepted me as one of their own. Up here, when church gets out, everyone sticks around just to hang out and chat, because we are a little family here. I've met moms from school and t ball and the park, and we have play dates with the boys. As for me, I've never been eager to have big fancy things, so this small town life has been a breath of fresh air. People are just people up here. It's real life. They've all been skinning rabbits and eating their own turkeys most of their lives. I have loved this experience. I do keep in touch with my city friends and I do like seeing them for movies and girls nights occasionally. I am eager to find a home to settle into for Long term up here. It's been fun learning the life of homesteading and its only been fun because Nathan and I have gone into it with a fun attitude of adventure and learning. Okay that's enough writing. I guess I'll get to the animal adventures on my next post!