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Cows and greening

I've decided to start doing more to reduce my global footprint. I'm sick of feeling that there's more I could be doing, more I should be doing, to reduce my negative impact on the environment. It's not that I have delusions of ever being green enough to come out even, but I really think that by making some simple choices I can reduce my impact.

To this end, I've put my name in for 1/2 a cow this fall. It's a local farm and they guarantee that their beef is grass fed and hormone free. I feel really good about this and wish that there were other meats I could order in the same way. At this point, the only concern I have is that I didn't order enough. But really, that's all the room we have for freezer space without buying a 3rd appliance.

Of course, we're already getting our veggies through a local CSA and I'm hoping next year to have some protected space to grow some of my own. Those silly elk seem to get into everything. But what I'm really hoping is that by moving my buying power to local and sustainable farms, the food production industry will notice. Some day.

More baby steps: changing lights as they burn out to flourescent, looking into carpooling with someone other than husband (more occupants to the vehicle) and getting just one water heater. Gosh, it would be nice to only have one water heater instead of the disaster of piping we have right now.

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Oh, where did you put in for 1/2 a cow?! I totally want to do that! Can you give me more details?

There are a bunch of farms out there that do cattle. http://www.localharvest.org/ has a list of most of the local providers. Eat Wild has a good list of meat/egg/dairy providers. I went with West Valley Beef. They've got prices and everything up on their site (which I love). I figured it came to about $4.25 a pound, which is way cheaper than most of that meat would cost even at Costco prices. And so much better!

We did that last year and it's been great. The butcher let's us specify which cuts we want as steak or roast or hamburger and how thick to make the steaks. We even requested and got soup bones and a big hunk of fat that whiskeyjack rendered down to tallow and then used to make soap. She does soap making and comes up with some pretty good stuff. That may be a bit over the top on cow usage (though they really do use tallow in soap), but if you want to try it or a simpler soap creation let us know. She's got all the soap science stuff.

Oh yeah, and the burgers are great too.

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