Category Archives: Practicefarming

Practice Butchery

We ordered half a pig, and had the option to have it come to us completely un-cut-up.  Since Jeremy had, most astutely, taken a course on butchery from Farmstead Meatsmith, we thought we could take this project on.

It's a Big Pig!
It’s a Big Pig!
Primary Sous-chef enjoys the idea of MEAT.
Primary Sous-chef enjoys the idea of MEAT.

Over the next eight hours, we butchered this lovely pig.  Parts went into a seasoned salt mix for bacon, and the ham went into a tub of brine.  We ate the pork chops the next evening, and they were roundly declared the best, juiciest, most tender pork chops in the entire history of food.  We borrowed a meat grinder and sausage stuffer (thanks, Streetbank!), and made sausages the next day.

Gory Stuffer
Gory Stuffer
sausage party!
sausage party!

Making sausages did not at all enable the proliferation of jokes about anatomy, because as adults we are past all that adolescent nonsense.

Home butchery filled our freezer without completely draining our pocketbook, and the work felt good and soul-nourishing.  We will definitely do this again.

(though next time, we’ll make sure to have a smoker, and even perhaps one of our own pigs.)


For the past little while, we have been taking care of the animals on a farm nearby while their people are away. Every morning, someone goes to the farm, lets the chickens and turkeys out, and distributes appropriate quantities of food and water.

We bring carefully selected compost for the chickens to pick through, muscle our way through the turkey scrum, and hold still-warm eggs in cold hands.

In the evening, as it gets dark, the chickens put themselves to bed and make sleepy chicken noises as we check for eggs. The turkeys are lured back into their shelter using yet more food.

And it’s fun.

(of course, I know that there are days that I will not be interested in getting out of bed to let out my own annoying chickens, but for today, it’s fun to pretend.)