Most of you have met my oldest son Grant. Grant has worked for GLC for over 18 years in various capacities. Mostly, he has been in charge of the financial management of the practice, billing, banking, and IT work, but he’s also cleaned the place, fixed what needed fixin’ and helped me with some of the creative work from time to time.
About six years ago, Grant and his wife Alison started Twisted Pines Farm in Black Forest. TPF started as a pasture-raised chicken operation where they raised chicken in a cage-free environment with no antibiotics. If you have never tasted pasture raised chicken and the eggs they produce you are definitely missing something great. The difference in taste from what you buy at the grocery store is truly remarkable. Over the last few years they have transitioned into selling fewer eggs and a whole lot more meat. They still raise chicken, but they also raise and sell grass-fed beef and pasture raised pork, as well as turkey, lamb, and goats. I have no idea where or how he got the bug to raise animals for a living but that’s the subject of a different story. Check them out at www.TwistedPinesFarm.com.
As we were recently discussing his cow operation, I asked him what the term “grass fed” actually means. I mean if you don’t feed them corn, or a corn mix feed, like most operations do, it seemed to me that you’d need a gazillion acres of grassland to graze them in the summer. Apparently, 30 acres per cow is normal! And being that we live in Colorado, where it’s cold and snows several month during the year, you also have to feed them grass in the winter, but not on the same gazillion acres. It also turns out that “grass” means hay. That’s not what “grass” meant when I was a young adult, but I digress.
So then I asked about hay. I thought it was a simple matter. You go online, you search “hay for sale,” you call the guy, negotiate a price, give him your credit card and tell him when you want it delivered. How hard can this really be? Turns out that buying hay is a bit like doing your estate planning. “Doing your Will” encompasses more than going online, searching “Will in Colorado,” completing a questionnaire, entering your credit card and printing and signing the resulting document. It all depends on the goals you are trying to accomplish, your family makeup, your finances, etc. It’s the same with hay. Turns out that you feed a cow different hay than you feed a horse. Grant advised that’s because a horse has a one chamber stomach and a cow has a four chamber stomach. Huh! Evidently, there are several different types of hay, too. Hay generally falls into one of two categories – legumes and grasses. Alfalfa hay is the most popular legume hay fed to horses, while timothy and orchard are popular grass hay choices. Given the fact that cows will normally eat anything, cow hay is usually horse hay that has been damaged in some way. Maybe it got rained on, was at the bottom of the stack and has dirt or mud, some moldy areas, sometimes lots of weeds, etc. But “cow hay” is also relative to the rest of hay the grower has as well as your budget. Obviously, there’s more wrapped up in hay than I originally thought.
While I was digesting all of this fascinating information, I thought back a couple of months ago. I was having a conversation with one of Kitsen’s best friends. We’ve been friends with this family for many years. They are just “one of those families.” Great friends with solid faith and strong, tender hearts with whom you can laugh and cry and that you can, and do, share your lives with. Wise folks that, when your kids are young and going to school and doing stuff together, you see all the time. As kids get older and life gets busier, you see each other less, but when you do, you just pick up the conversation where you left off last time. She told me she was sorry she hadn’t kept in touch since Kitsy died but that she just didn’t know what to say or ask or do. She said she wanted to text, or email, or call; something, just to see how I was doing, share a funny story she remembered or just check in to make sure I was still working, eating, etc. At the end of the conversation, she said, “If I text you sometime, I may just say ‘Hey.’ And I want you to know that all of the things I’m thinking and feeling and want to say will be wrapped up in that one word.” I love her. Apparently, there’s more wrapped up in “Hey” than I originally thought, too.
Douglas G. Goldberg, Esq.
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