Late Summer 2012

As summer winds down we are reflecting on the growing menagerie here at Cold Spring Ranch. Both of us love the idea of becoming a somewhat diversified farm. So we have spent the past year diligently planting fruit trees and berry bushes, laying out a larger garden plot, raising laying hens for eggs and adding pigs to the cattle as a source of meat both for ourselves and to bring to market. Add in the barn cats and ranch dog and¬†suddenly¬†there are a lot of mouths to feed around here. Our mornings and evenings have become a busy round of making sure all the animals are happy and well fed, not to mention accounted for. It has complicated things for Gabe, who a few short years ago had “simply” focused on raising cattle. But of course it has made life here a lot more fun and interesting. The rooster practicing his crow at first light, the evening clang of the pig feeder on the hillside, the occasional soft low moo of a cow, the happy purr of a cat lounging in a slice of sunshine on a hay bale; it all reminds us that we are lucky to be surrounded by a rich and full family farm.

As for the growing wish list of animals, one of us may want a miniature donkey as a companion and guard to the chickens but that continues to be overruled. Yet over time, we will no doubt add to the brood. A few turkeys perhaps. A pony for our daughter someday? But the great thing about living in our part of the world is that we have friends with big vegetable and herb gardens, some raise broiler chickens, others have meat goats, one creates savory sausages and boils sap for maple syrup, and yet another milks dairy cows and creates delicious cheese. So instead of trying to do it all ourselves, we trade, barter and outright purchase goods to support our friends and neighbors to round out our modest attempt at local food living. Yet more than anything else, we are proud of our role in providing a local source of grass fed beef and our focus will always be on Gabe’s first love – the hearty, steady and ever-present cattle.


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