RicelandMeadows


Home Butchering

sowcarcas

December 15, 2016

Home butchering is best done on a cold day. Using nature’s refrigeration only makes sense! This sow was a bad mother, who killed her babies.(It happens sometimes when farrowing in nests) I have no need for a mother such as her, but we needed sausage. I dressed her out before the storm yesterday.

Today, inside our farm’s little slaughterhouse, we deboned her and turned her into sausage for our family. The sausage was very nice, with just the right fat to lean ratio. We will enjoy it in the coming year. It is a wonderful thing to have the knowledge and the where-with-all to be self sufficient. It is even better to be able to share those skills with friends and family.

Perhaps I should make a photo story of the butchering process step by step? I will wait for comments and proceed from there. I would leave out the “yukiest” photos, and simply show my viewers how to dress a hog from start to finish. I skin our pigs. It is much easier to do them that way. Plus we don’t eat the pig’s feet, tail or snout,so there is no reason to scald and scrape the animal.

I confess that having been a butcher as a younger man, sure comes in handy here on the homestead. We will soon be doing beef and a few more hogs before winter is over and maple syrup season starts. Winter is for relaxing, resting and butchering. We make is a social event spending time with family and friends. The youngest people in our family learn early where our food comes from. They also learn to take very good care of those animals and treat them with respect. It’s the cycle of life for us carnivores.



Tis The Season
December 6, 2016, 10:30 pm
Filed under: December 2016 | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

lamb2016

December 6, 2016

Butchering season is upon us. This is one of our 2016 grassfed lambs. We will enjoy him ourselves. It is a bittersweet time. The animals that I have nurtured all year, now become meals for us. It is the cycle of life. I understand, I am grateful and yet a part of me feels a little sad. I stun the animals humanely and treat them with respect right to the end of their lives. I take comfort in that fact.

Our animals are well treated form birth until death. Even in the final seconds of their lives, they know no fear or mistreatment. I believe the stress free lives that they live, translates to very safe, wholesome food for me and my family. They spend much of their lives on pasture in the fresh air and sunshine. I watch over them, keeping them safe and well. We get the benefit of vitamins and minerals consumed from our grass and converted into the flesh of our animals.

We feed the soil with compost and pH buffering limestone. The soil feeds the crops. The crops feed the animals and in the case of cover crops, the soil itself. The animals feed us very nutritious protein, packed with vitamins and omega3. The work that I do taking care of our soils is worth every minute. I see it in the crops we grow and I taste it in the beef, lamb, pork and chicken that we eat.

 



Today’s Project
December 28, 2014, 9:59 pm
Filed under: December 2014, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , ,
Hams and bacons smoking

Hams and bacons smoking

December 28, 2014

Instead of working on firewood this weekend, I got the hams and bacons from our recent butchering into the smokehouse. They have been brining in a mixture of salt and brown sugar for a week. Today, I smoked them with hickory wood. It took all day, but was well worth the effort.

I babysat the meat as it smoked. I, and my dear wife, stayed busy putting order in the slaughterhouse. Santa Clause brought us a couple of new tables. We continue to work on traffic patterns and ease of operation, but our little meat house is coming together nicely.

This building doubles as a summer kitchen for canning our vegetables. It also makes a nice place to wash maple syrup filters and equipment. It is a multipurpose building that is working out well for us. It is even a nice place to warm up and drink coffee with my boots on! I sure do like this place!

a great place to work

a great place to work



A Real Cut Up
December 18, 2014, 11:35 pm
Filed under: December 2014 | Tags: , , , , , ,
Two nice hogs cooling

Two nice hogs cooling

December 18, 2014

Tuesday, I butchered these two nice hogs. They walked outside to their play area, looked up at me and dropped in their tracks. There was no stress, no shouting, no problem at all. They led a happy stress free life here. They had a clean dry bed, all they could eat and drink and access to a play area every day. The meat tastes wonderful.

Today we cut them up, made fresh sausage, pork chops, roasts and spare ribs. The hams and bacons have been brined and await smoking and cooking in a few days. It was the first big job we did in the new slaughterhouse. The building and equipment worked flawlessly. There was plenty of room to work and having the hot and cold water was awesome!

We had a nice full day with friends and family. My grandchildren made their own sausage, then cooked it in a pan. Fresh sausage sandwiches don’t come much fresher than that 😮  The children helped stuff sausage into casings and even leant a hand during clean up. They were very involved and have a good understanding where their food comes from. They are 5 and 8 and well on their way to becoming homesteaders.

I am tired, but very happy. I see the next generation learning skills handed down to me from my grandparents. My son worked right along beside me. He does better every time we butcher. He made the primal cuts, took the spareribs off his bacon. He deboned many pieces and helped with the brining process. He did most of the grinding and paid close attention to the seasoning process. My wife gave lessons to our daughter-in-law as she wrapped her family’s meat. Yes, it was a very good day!

Primal cuts, ready to go!

Primal cuts, ready to go!



Butchering Day
December 16, 2014, 8:05 am
Filed under: December 2014 | Tags: , , ,
No more working outside!

No more working outside!

December 16, 2014

Today, we will butcher a couple of pigs. The weather isn’t the best for woodcutting, so I will switch gears. It will be nice to have the fresh meat. I also plan to make some summer sausage and a few other meat treats to be eaten over the holidays. The smokehouse will soon be filled with all sorts of yummy treats. The best thing about butchering this year, will be using the new slaughterhouse… no more working outside!

We do the killing, skinning and gutting part of the job outside, but the job of cutting the meat, making sausage and preparing hams and bacons will now all be done inside. The big sink and hot and cold running water will be a welcomed addition. It is so nice to be able to wash hands and equipment any time you want to do it…and without a bucket of water!

December temperatures continue to be unseasonably warm. It is still cool enough for butchering and a nice day to keep fingers warm. The pause from farm work and wood chopping is a welcomed one. I like to do this job every now and then. It was once the way I made my living and fed my family. Now, it is just a job I like to do and ultimately… I’m still feeding my family 😮

I will stretch this work out over the next few days. The smokehouse will run by the end of the week and even in to next week as we smoke the hams and bacons. It is a wonderful time of year. The tree is mostly trimmed. Rows of cookies line the table. A few wrapped packages are under the tree and now the harvest for our freezer is underway. Yes, I like butchering day.