We started very early yesterday morning. Hugo, our friend Bryce towing the trailer with his truck, me and Daisy’s Bobby on his final trip. I always say thank you to an animal when I raise it for food, even the chickens get a thank you as they are carefully packed for their journey. We said Goodbye and Thank You to the Bobby in the pouring rain.
Here is a funny story – well not so funny but you will laugh with me a little I think.
I had called the little local abbatoir a few days ago to confirm The Bobbys arrival – we are trying a new facility that is quite close by so they did not know me.
“What’s the name of the farmer?, said the girl on the phone to confirm my booking.
I told her my name.
“Good morning, Cecilia” she said, I could hear her smile into the phone.
She hesitated then she said “So, what is the name of the farmer?”
I told her my name again and added. “I am the farmer.”
“You are the farmer?” she said, her voice lifting. “But you are a – I mean. You do the farming? You raise the cows.” Emphasis on the You each time.
“Yes.” I said wearily “and the pigs and the chickens.”
“Well,” she said ” I didn’t know that .. I mean .. We don’t see many women farmers ’round here. And your husband -does he farm as well?.”
I was a little aghast at this question. Was this a trick question? An assumption that no lady farmer would be without a husband farmer. Did there have to be a big strong man farmer behind every woman farmer?
“No. He does not farm. He works off the property.” I said. “When he is home and I need something heavy lifted, I ask him to lift it then I send him back to the kitchen.”
There was a pause.
“Will YOU be bringing the steer in?” she said. Her mouth open I could hear the spaces.
“Oh” she laughed nerously. “Well.. ” she said “I would love to meet you.” I think she thinks I have a hood and a cape and some kind of gold whip.
Poor thing was trying to be nice but was genuinely confused about a Woman raising animals for food. Wild Women, like you and me, are a curious mixture of gentle and cooly pragmatic. I think we are all wild. Just that some are more obviously wild than others. It just never occurs to me that a woman canNOT do whatever she decides to do. (Within reason of course – especially when one is feeling reasonable).
I work on my little farm with my helpers, oblivious to the world, completely forgetting that there are many people in this area who simply do not believe that women can be farmers, real farmers who grow food. And worse I am a foreigner and even worse than that I grew up ON A BEACH. Anyone who has a wee bit of land can do what I do. I am not playing. This is my business. This is not a zoo. It is my job. I make little to no money but a lot of food, I Save a huge amount of money and even more importantly we eat clean proteins. It is old fashioned. I can trace my food straight to my fields and gardens.
Any woman can do this. Any man can do this. Any family can. All you need is a little land or a large back yard – but goodness -This was another Woman who was shocked at a Woman being the boss of a farm.
I was very tempted to take this steer to the slaughter house in high heels and a short skirt, but one needs to climb up into the trailer to move the animal off and into the chute. And cows have very big feet. And it was a sloppy muddy chilly rain yesterday, so it was ripped farm trousers and gumboots (with a little mascara just for fun!) .
I have to say: the men who were there to receive the cow into a very clean and well run, tiny facility were very respectful and allowed me to call the shots. And when a pin needed to be pulled and a gate opened they shouted to me to do it (because I was right beside it) just like they would shout to a man. (The Bobby was a little too anxious to get into the building once he had navigated the chute and so I was literally stalling his forward motion with my hip as I opened an unfamiliar pen gate. Probably best not to try that in heels! )
Anyway I laughed – a little bit.
Thank you so much for all your fantastic cookie recipes yesterday. I am going to rename yesterdays post A Collection of Fellowship Chocolate Chip Cookies! I will go back and do that right now. Often the best half of the farmy blog posts in the Lounge of Comments! Magnifique!
Here is the Fellowship Chocolate Chip Cookie
Mix in the usual sequence, add a little more flour if you need to, spoon in balls onto a cookie sheet, flatten a little with fingers, cook at 375 for about 12 minutes (maybe less maybe more I did not really time them!).
Did you know that in New Zealand we call cookies – biscuits. Biscuits in America are something completely different.
I hope you have a lovely day. We had more wonderful storms and cloud formations yesterday.
Don’t you just love it out here!
Lots of love