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That Wasn't Me at the Fast-Food Joint

After parking the truck with the Miles Smith Farm logo on the door, I pulled my hood over my head and dashed for the entrance to the fast-food joint, hoping not to be recognized. My preaching about buying locally raised food did not fit with my impending snack. ("Hypocrite" is such an ugly word.) I rationalized that I wasn't breaking last New Year's resolution to eat only local food because, after all, I was seeking a baked potato....

Dealing with a rebellious bull

Every year four or five bulls are born on the farm, but we don't use this local talent for breeding. It would weaken the herd genetically. So periodically, we have to buy a new breeding bull from elsewhere. Bringing in a new bull is challenging, though.

Tazzy’s Tale

I live at Miles Smith Farm with my sister, Penny. She's two years younger than me, and we fight over food, but I always win because I'm bigger. She is sneaky, though. Whenever Carole puts on my harness, I have to stand still so she can clip the straps. That's when Penny, who knows I can't move, nudges me from the rear with her snout.

Hard Decisions on a Beef Farm

Cattle farming is not for the faint-of-heart. Last week I had to decide which two Scottish Highlanders were going to be processed. The criterion is simple: full-grown cattle without jobs get shipped. The job of a cow is to become pregnant and produce more cows. A bull's job is to help with that. If a bull or cow doesn't succeed at their job, they are candidates for the "beef program."

Winter Water Woes

Frigid weather came early this year; in November. During the summer, I was in denial about winter but not because heating and electric bills increase or because of the snow. My main beef with winter? Frozen water. Winter is a constant battle to keep my livestock hydrated. Cows have natural insulation to keep warm but can’t live without water.

My Barn: Where Junk Is Aged to Perfection

After living on the same farm for 45 years, I have accumulated a lot of junk in our old three-story barn. In the 'Farm of My Dreams,' there is no junk. But the farm I am running is a place of thrift where constant repairing and re-purposing are the rule.