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When your freezers are full, with a year’s worth of rich, delicious, grass-fed beef, which was fed, nourished, taken, cut and wrapped by the hands of your family, your heart tends to swell a little with gratitude.

At least mine does.

Oh yes, there was the cursing of the rowdy young steers that escape their fencing, and long but satisfying days haying.
There are chores, chores and more chores.
Cold hands from cutting that ache as they warm up and plenty of time, grinding and wrapping.
Then it’s done for another year.
Soon after, you pull a package from the freezer and feed your family and it is so good.
So, so, so good.
Your pretty sure it’s the best beef ever.
And your heart swells with gratitude all over again.

We really don’t mind the work. A few days out of our year to cut and wrap our meat. We aren’t the fastest nor the best at it. But we’ve gotten quite handy breaking down an animal for the freezer, and it’s very satisfying to truly feed oneself.(Side note: the meat we sell from our farm is processed at an inspected butcher, this is just for us!) That said, usually we do a beef in two days. Given that we still have to take care of kids, barn chores etc. This usually works. This year however between New Year’s Eve, barn fire aftermath and family visits, we had to spread out the process a little longer. It started to seem like it was taking forever. When my sweet 6 year old Rita asked me as I was heading out to wrap as dad came in from the barn, for the 3rd day. ” Is that what you do in the evenings now Mama? wrap meat?” I could not stop chuckling. Oh boy were we ready to be done. Well… the beef is done…..but we have a pig to do tomorrow. I keep hearing that sweet voice and begin to laugh at what our lives must look like to others if that’s my own child wonders!

Here’s to REALLY full freezers of diverse offerings, and here’s to being done wrapping meat for a season anyway.

1. My farmer finding his cut 2.deliciousness 3.cut and wrap station-all essentials including my coffee in this gotta keep the meat cold shop 4. & 5. My girls helping, they love this job! (there is a little boy sure to be somewhere around there making robot out of screws) 6.My Rita, creating with her new drill gun while Mom and Dad work 7. & 8. Precious pile of wrapped meat