Our friends wanted to purchase a large bull from this farm, but farm partner said the bull was not for sale because it is our food. The friends are purchasing a baby bull and a teen age bull from here. They want their cows to be bred immediately, and since they cannot buy it, they asked to rent the large bull. The teenage bull they are purchasing from us will be able to breed their cows in less than 9 months. From their perspective, renting the large bull is a reasonable request. They evaluated their farm, made a decision about what they want and when they want it, then looked for a way to get what they want in the time frame that they desire. This has presented a delicious situation to evaluate and these evaluations have brought much clarity and provided good opportunities to practice clear conversation.
One thing I learned from farm partner is that he plans to load the large bull for our friends because people helped him out when he was a young farmer getting started. I believe he sees his participation in this current situation as a sort of “pay-it-forward” arrangement.
I also offer something to young farmers getting started. I have gained some wisdom from living here for eight years. One thing I have learned is the perspective of time. Farming is slow. Things happen easily when the humans play along nicely with mama earth. When humans try to rush things or force things its just not as much fun and things become difficult. I enjoy easy. Offering my wisdom and my energy to other farmers involves making decisions about what I will or will not participate in.
For example, my dear friend Kassie is starting her own homestead with the intention of producing healthy, natural food for her family. I cannot say enough about how true this rings for me personally in my heart. She is gathering information and making many decisions about her land and animals and plants. In offering my wisdom and / or labor to this friend, I would enthusiastically help with, for example, fencing in a field for pasture. I agree with the practice of fencing in a field and allowing animals to graze. I would pound in posts and run wire and do what ever she asked me to do. If, for example, this dear friend requested that I drive a tractor and disc her field, I would respectfully decline. I would fully support her decision to have the field disced and I would not actually physically participate in that activity. The perspective of time has taught me much respect for mother earth and what she is capable of. I would offer that wisdom and not offer my labor for discing a field.
To the friends that desire to have their cows bred right away, I offer wisdom of the perspective of time. You are welcome to purchase bulls from here that we do not intend to eat. Take those bulls to your farm and they will grow and they will breed your cows. I do not offer my labor, my skill, in loading the large bull into a stock trailer for a rental arrangement.
My experience of this situation is that I am choosing to live my values. I will participate in things that I am comfortable with. I enjoy living on a farm and eating animals and plants that share this particular piece of Mother Earth. I do not care to eat an animal that grazes on not-lush pasture, 90 miles away from my home. I enjoy living my life in a way that continually depends less and less on fossil fuels. I do not care to eat an animal that has traveled 180 miles in a stock trailer. I currently depend on fossil fuels to run the machines that make the hay and keep the freezers cold. I do not wish to then add the dependence on fuel for a truck to pull a trailer 180 miles down the road.
If our friends’ farm was going to close and be sold if they did not get this bull from us now, I would gladly rent the bull to them. But that is not the case.
It is wise to just rest and let things be easy.
Using a risk / benefit analysis works well for me in making decisions.
As our bulls live here on our farm, there is a slight risk that they could die and we would be unable to harvest the meat for our food.
If a bull leaves this farm there is a slight risk that the animal could die, and that risk although still slight, is much greater than if the animal were to remain home.
Traveling 180 miles down the road comes with risks that are not present while just grazing on home pasture.
There is a risk that enough fuel will not be available when it is time to drive the bull home.
What benefit does this farm receive sending the large bull away for a number of months?
From my perspective, any benefit is far outweighed by the risks that would be introduced to an otherwise simple, comfortable situation.
I love you guys and I offer my wisdom and my integrity. Thank you for the opportunity to gain much clarity and move forward on this joyous journey of life.
I remain respectful and non-judging regardless of what you and miguel decide to do. I will participate with my labor as I am comfortable with.
Thank you again for this opportunity. Much love, kari