On Monday these 2 Jersey bulls will go to the butcher. One was our milk cow, Sybil's, first calf. The other came on the farm at about the same time and both nursed from her until they each weighed well over 600 pounds. We are told that beef from Jersey cattle is the best flavor and texture, and that milk feeding really adds to the tenderness.
I see something in addition when I look at these 2. I see beautiful, blemish free hides that can be used to upholster furniture. Our furniture has taken a beating. The fabric has torn, slip covers (which work great if no one touches, or even breathes in the room with them) have been a bust, but a good learning experience. I've learned that Homer will come in off the farm, sit on the couch in farm clothes, and sometimes invite the dog (who can locate the funkiest things ever) up there too. Dirt covers the ill fitting, slip and shift things. A mess really.
We have a friend who is an upholsterer. In DC. For high end clients, political types that Homer watches, in funky farm clothes, on the news every night. Seems appropriate to me that we should get furniture upholstered with our hides so Homer can watch the nightly news featuring the buildings where our upholsterer works...and I can periodically wipe the cushions down, vacuum them off, get the funk out.
And the largest hide tanning business on the east coast is less than an hour from here. Homer and I toured it last year. Friendly owner, beautiful work, stellar reputation.
Our upholsterer will work for chicken. And eggs, beef, pork. The tanner will too. There has been discussion of Homer possibly building the frame for a couch...from wood milled at our local saw mill, wood from the area.
So while some might see 2 head of cattle, hanging in the shade of trees, I see more. Highly efficient mowers. Free fertilizer spread evenly across the entire farm. Meals for a year. Furniture that can be cleaned, easily. And maybe, real leather furniture on local hardwood frames, beautiful and functional, easy to clean, genuine cowhide (no bonded leather here!)...for chickens, and eggs, and maybe a little beef too...