Grazing on Green Pastures

The Jacob Sheep of Hedgerow Farm are raised on pasture with no grain feeding.  The lambs remain with their mothers until 4 months of age.   We name our sheep, knowing them as individual creatures who belong to the farm community of sheep, cows, horse, chickens, and livestock guardian dog.  We shear them once a year, and we take the rams to the processor in the autumn.  How can we name them, care for them, and then eat them? is the question often asked.  We are omnivores, I answer and because of our caretaking we now eat meat with a greater consideration, respect, and gratitude.  Reading Animal Vegetable Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver and the Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan, changed the way I looked at food and farming.   I could not ignore what I had learned about the lives of animals raised for meat and eggs.  If I did not live on a farm?  I’d shop at the farmer’s market, eat less meat, more vegetables.  and the choices are not as easy to live as they are to type.  I know that. But we must begin somewhere and in some way, even in small ways.

Wendell Berry says it better than me in the following quote.

“I dislike the thought that some animal has been made miserable to feed me. If I am going to eat meat, I want it to be from an animal that has lived a pleasant, uncrowded life outdoors, on bountiful pasture, with good water nearby and trees for shade.”   Wendell Berry

Jacob Sheep