Why, yes. A cow WILL fit into the back of a minivan.

Why on earth would we put a cow’s worth of meat into the back of our van? Remember when I talked about meat during the Staying Whole Series?

That’s why. And we also like to save money by purchasing in bulk. Putting half of a cow into a freezer is the epitome of buying in bulk, I think.

A couple of weeks ago we drove about an hour to Fallon, NV. We’re lucky to live near several ranches, but I believe we have found Nevada’s Joel Salatin.

This is Roger. He’s around 80 years old. He and his wife, Margot, have a small ranch where they raise organic, antibiotic-free, grassfed beef. Roger gave us a tour of his land and talked all about his organic farming and grazing practices — practices that cause other farmers in the area to ridicule him.

He’s so passionate about what he does! Super cool guy.

The 79 head of cattle are moved from pasture to pasture every few days to feed on fresh grass. We drove out to one of the pastures in his dusty Toyota Camry and watched him yodel out to the cows.

At the sound of his voice, all of their heads turned and they began walking and mooing toward him. Seriously, with a relationship like that, who needs a horse or a dog to drive cattle around?

After our tour we picked up our butchered meat and counted off all of the cuts. We split our cow with a friend, but we hauled all of the meat back home in our van.

(My daughter will pose in front of anything.) This, my friends, is what a whole cow’s worth of meat looks like. It’s around 400 pounds worth of steaks, roasts, ground beef, soup bones, and (at my husband’s request) organ meat.

I have to admit… this is more meat than I anticipated. It’s tasty, though!

If you come over to our house for dinner in the next year and a half, I hope you like beef.

Thank you, Mills Ranch!