|Farm intern Lisa Beneman and I just took this calf out of the barn (pictured behind Lisa) where he was born so we can tag and band him.|
Looks like this little guy was born just a few hours ago. His curly calf-fro lets us know his breed is Galloway and Angus — all our calves are sired by heritage Galloway bulls. The Galloway’s thick, coarse coat helps shed the Oregon rain and keep them warm through the winter. Galloway cattle are the heirloom tomatoes of beef — top notch grazers that tend to be less picky than other breeds of cattle, they take up to 32 months to finish but they have excellent flavor and great marbling. As a heritage breed, they are one of the more ancient breeds — their name is derived from the Province of Galloway, a region in Scotland where they were a popular breed from at least the 16th century.
William McCombie — a pioneer Scottish breeder and a delightful old chap said, “The Galloway undoubtedly has many great qualifications. On poor land they are unrivaled, on land so poor our Aberdeens could not subsist upon it. There is no other breed worth more by the pound weight than a first-class Galloway.” Jolly good.
|In a matter of moments, the happy calf is reunited with momma.|
Watching them buck and run when they hit what we call the “Maternity Field” is gosh darn adorable.
|Just because we feed them everyday, doesn’t mean they trust us. J11 peeks out from the safety of his mom’s udder.|
|It’s always nice to see the farm creatures co-mingling on a foggy Oregon morning.|
|The sun rises on the “Maternity Field”|
|Jack is pretty cute I guess. He nurses from his mother AND gets a few bottles a day. Spoiled for sure.|
|Roro loves the bottle|
Spring is an inspiring season on the farm. New life is springing up everywhere as the winter frost loosens its grip and the sun peaks its timid smile around the clouds. Immersing myself in the calving process is not unlike watching the early season daffodils bloom in the morning sun, only daffodils don’t have yellow diarrhea or fight over bottles like they’re in Thunderdome.
The Deck farm is teeming with life and it imbues the air with an unmistakable energy that glorifies the beauty of the present. Like every moment, every calf is a gift unto us, milk slobber and all, and I feel blessed to be able to watch life in all forms, nurture and grow.