I've wanted to farm for as long as I can remember. Growing up in the country, surrounded by horses, land, and a slow pace gave me a taste of that lifestyle, and I'm not sure there's any going back. My husband also grew up in the country, raising and caring to herds of sheep and harvesting corn crop in his teenage years. Between the two of us loving this lifestyle, it was an obvious path for us to take.
Our little farm all started one Sunday in early spring, when my husband visited a dairy farm. There he discovered the male jersey calves (which aren't breed for beef and obviously don't produce milk) that were being tossed to the side because the dairy had 'no use for them'. Being the soft, loving guy he is, he picked up all of the male jersey calves he could (seven total), all under 48 hours old, and hauled them home to me in the back of the truck.
I was panicked. What do I do with these tiny calves (that look like baby deer, mind you)? I mothered and fell in love with them, of course. Months of all night bottle feedings, snuggles, dancing in the fields, and runny noses paid off when we found a home for all seven of these sweethearts on a ranch in Idaho, training toddlers to rodeo, which was much better than being tossed aside at birth.
My respect for a living being was strengthened after this. All lives are valuable, no matter their purpose. Since then, we've raised five beef cows, rescued a sweet male goat, nursed abandoned barn kittens, hatched and homed dozens of quail and 12 little hens. After visiting a beef feed lot for the first time, I was determined to provide my baby calves with a clean, green, luscious living space and provide organic lives for them instead of living shoulder to shoulder in mud with no green in site.
I've been asked if I felt like it was barbaric to raise my own beef and treat these animals like pets. My answer is absolutely not. Providing a clean living environment with love, that's essentially stress free, is far from the barbaric conditions they would've endured at a feed lot. There is something beautiful about raising and loving the animals that feed your family. To know where your food is coming from, to walk out every morning and gather the most beautifully toned pastel eggs that the most in tune artist couldn't mimic, and from that have a deliciously fresh and buttery batch of scrambled eggs for breakfast. It's just right for us, and it is an incredible experience. I understand this isn't for everyone, which is okay, but to me, it's beautiful. This life is whole and peaceful. A small home with a little bit of land, animals to love, and a couple who works hard to keep it running.
Moral of the story- Respect all living beings, know where your food comes from, and understand the natural process. It's beautiful.
Photos for Foundation c/o Utah Root
Stevi practices at a medical spa, full time, as a Master Aesthetician and Makeup Artist. She is a true-blue flower child who runs a part time flower crown and t-shirt shop that encourages the inner free spirit and raises awareness of the importance of supporting small, local businesses. In her spare time she cares to the animals on her farm, goes outdoor adventuring with her husband, and loves styling photo shoots with lots of flowers. Always flowers! Visit instagram.com/missstevimarie to learn more.