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  • Melissa Porteous

My 5 year goal (that I created over 5 years ago!)

Updated: Dec 1, 2022

Hello! Well, here is my first post. So bear with me, I'm sure I will look back on it, covering my face in shame, or perhaps grinning from ear to ear at how inexperienced and nervous I was to create this blog. Either way, my 5 year goal has nothing to do with blogging or posting or the internet at all, really. I created this 5 year goal well over 5 years ago and have not accomplished a single thing yet.

So, are you excited to hear what it is? My 5 year goal is.... to own beef cows. To give you some back story, about 5 years ago, I came up with a 5 year goal (have I said that enough yet?) to have my own beef cows, and a 10 year goal to be raising all my own meat. Flash forward to today, and I haven't done either thing. So starting from now, I'm going to try again with the goal of owning cattle by 2027. I'm hoping by sharing this goal with you, it will give me that much more motivation to stick with it. Actually it's more like I'm still hoping I'll be able to convince my husband that we need cattle.

To be able to provide beef for our family would be so beneficial in many ways. We all know that buying meat from chain grocery stores has gotten questionable lately. To have our own beef that we've raised and nurtured would give me the confidence and peace of mind to feed this to my family for dinner. Not only would it be a healthier option for my family, it would most likely be a big help financially as well. And another positive thing would be that it would be teaching my children where food comes from, the circle of life, as well as teaching them responsibilities and that they world does not just revolve around them. When we have people over to visit it would be a great starting point to talk about healthy options and becoming more self sufficient. I'm always trying to find ways to have these conversations with people and bring awareness to a way of life that is seemingly being forgotten about (not that I'm an expert).

I feel like it's one of those things that seems like it is a life altering commitment and once we decide to do it, we are going to be stuck with that decision for the rest of our lives. However, I keep trying to remind myself (and my husband) that we can always "get out of it" somehow if owning cattle isn't working for us. We already own horses, so how much more work could cows be? Don't get me wrong, it will be a bit of a commitment, mainly financially, however hopefully with the grass fed, organic beef that we would get out of it, it would be worth it. And I'm sure it will come with it's own challenges, as does most things a person does for the first time. I can research and read articles and blogs on owning cattle till the cows come home, as they say, however at some point you have to pull the trigger.

We currently own ducks, Black and Blue Swedish to be exact, and I remember when we got them about 8 years ago it felt like a monumental risk. But in hindsight, it wasn't. Sure we lost a few to predators in the beginning until we figured out an appropriate living situation and we made adjustments from winter to winter as we gained experience on how to care for them throughout the Manitoba seasons. The same would go for cows except I have a feeling we wouldn't lose a cow to a few raccoons.

Or.. it could be more like when I got honeybees - that didn't go quite so well. First of all, it was a bigger financial commitment then getting a few ducks. Things seem to have gone well during the summer, I checked on them a few times and made sure they were healthy. I successfully extracted honey, leaving plenty for them for the long Manitoba winter. Then even before winter, when I was ready to cover the hive up for the winter, I realized all my bees were dead! It was so devastating - and a real shock to me. I'm still not entirely sure what happened, but I definitely know I have no experience with beekeeping - since I've never done it before. (But I did get more hives and I am trying again - wish me luck!)

But, back to the cows... Of course my husband would have a bit of work to do before we could actually bring home a cow(s). He would have to fence a few more acres, but we do have some grass land that doesn't get used or just gets mowed down so that would work good. We make our own hay, so that wouldn't be a concern in case we needed it. So there is no real reason we haven't done it, other then scared to screw up I guess? Scared to try something new and find myself in over my head. Maybe a bit scared I will get attached and have a hard time doing what needs to be done when the time comes. Although I would know that the cows life would have meant something, and it would have a good life before her time ends. As I mentioned, I, like many people, feel there is something to be said for knowing how the cow has lived and been treated and fed before part of it becomes fuel for my body and part of it returns back to the Earth.

So I will keep you posted and I hope you keep me on track for this dream to become a reality by the year 2027!!

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