Giving Thanks

Two days ago, I hopped in the car on an absolutely beautiful fall day to make the short drive to Lake Geneva to pick up our side of beef.  This is an annual trek we have been making for four years now and once again I find myself sitting here on this first day of November, grateful beyond words for what we now have in our home.

With each piece of meat, wrapped neatly in crisp white butcher paper, I placed into our deep freezer, I was reminded of the farmers who went out each and every day to bring cool water to this animal.  Who raised it with the utmost care and dignity.  Who allowed it to roam free upon the fields of grasses that it was created to consume.

And I too am so very thankful for the animal itself, who gave of its life so that my family may have sustenance.  I cannot think of any other way I would rather consume meat.

My entire family is very well aware of where this food came from.  We have walked upon the green pasture where this steer roamed.  We shook hands, chatted and laughed with the farmer who raised it.  We know our food.  We know our farmer.  And for that, I am ever so grateful.

Farm Fresh

This weekend, the littlest of our clan turned three.  In order to celebrate this day, our entire family gathered in our backyard for some farm fresh eggs and local bacon cooked up over the campfire by my hubby.  We also devoured birthday cake at nine in the morning, which was my favorite part of the early morning eating festivities.

After everyone was well fed and revved up with a bit of coffee in their systems, we loaded up into a few vehicles and headed to Krusen Grass Farms.  We have been ordering organic grass fed, grass finished beef from Sue and Altfrid Krusenbaum  for three years now.  We have spoken with them via phone and email many times over the course of the past few years, but had yet to visit their farm.

I spoke with Sue several months ago about a visit and since we have small children, she suggested we come and visit in May because that is when their cows are calving, and the girls would get to see a bunch of calves.  And see calves we did…over 80 of them!  And of these eighty young calves, we were even lucky enough to have timed our visit as such that we were able to see, touch, and snuggle two calves that were just a day old.

I’m telling you, I could have plopped myself right down in that barn and stayed there all day long.  Those little ones were the most friendly, lovely animals I have ever come across.  It was just amazing for the girls (and the adults for that matter) to experience.

But that was not the end of our visit, in fact it was only the beginning.  Sue was so incredibly kind and gave up over two hours of her day to show us her family’s absolutely gorgeous land, animals, and explain to us their sustainable farming practices that make the farm an absolute wonder to behold!  Our next stop was the egg mobile, where the girls were able to gather the day’s eggs.

I think the egg gathering was my oldest daughter’s favorite part of the day.  As she climbed down the steps of the egg mobile, she looked at me and said, “Mom, I think I want to start my own business.  I want to buy chickens of my own and have them lay eggs and then I’ll sell them.”  Love her.

Following the egg extravaganza, we made our way out into the pasture to visit with some of the other cattle.  After growing acclimated to our large group, these beautiful animals meandered our way and we were again able to “visit” with them for a bit.  Such fun!

Of all things I’ve done in my life, including our recent visit to Growing Power, which I touted as one of the greatest days in recent memory, this day now also tops my list.  We were once again able to forge relationships with the people that raise the food our family consumes, see the magnificent landscape on which this food is grown, and also witness a family acting as true stewards of the land.  We had such a fabulous day, and we thank you very much Krusenbaum family for a wonderful visit!