Archive for March, 2008

My blog has value!

Friday, March 28th, 2008

Hahaha! Now, if only I could cash in on it…

My blog is worth $1,693.62.
How much is your blog worth?

Once in a life time

Monday, March 24th, 2008

So, as you all know, yesterday (Mar 23) was Easter.  It also happened to be my birthday – I will now pause briefly while you sing, and wish me a belated birthday.   All done?  Ok.  For those who may be curious, I turned 37 yesterday.  According to my (very brief) research, the next time Easter will fall on my birthday will be in the year 2228.  Chances are I won’t be around for that ;) so I feel safe in calling this a “once in a lifetime” event for me.

Thoughts on raising your own food

Sunday, March 16th, 2008

We live on a small farm, and we raise some of our own food – other than the garden, this has thus far included chickens for eggs and meat and pigs for meat.  Lamb will be taking its place on the list soon.  We’ve also acquired dairy goats so we’ll be getting milk soon too.  In time, chevon (that’s goat meat) will also be on the list.

Last Saturday I butchered one of our pigs, and today I butchered the other.  I gotta say that butchering is exhausting work, but when it goes well it’s satisfying.  Last Saturday didn’t go so well.  To put it mildly, I botched the kill.  After last Saturday, I was very discouraged and felt like maybe I should just haul the remaining pig back to the stock auction and sell it.  I can think of a lot of good reasons for raising your own meat, but one of the important reasons to me is that the animal will typically have a higher quality of life on my little farm than it would in some feed lot.  Another important reason to me is that when the animal is killed, it happens without a lot of fear or pain.  Hence my discouragement.

However, if you make a mistake, you may as well learn from it.  I was very apprehensive today, but things went well.  Very clean, fast kill.  Consequently the whole process of butchering seemed to go easier, and I’m feeling a lot better about raising meat animals again.

So now I have close to 300 lbs of pork in my fridge and freezer – including (so far) about 40 lbs of home made sausage, and 25 lbs of home cured hams.  We even made some sausage links.  Here’s a tip about making sausage links:  Many references will tell you to grind the pork once, and then run it through the grinder again to stuff the sausage casings.  The tip?  Don’t run it through the grinder the second time.  We did this, and what you end up with is VERY finely ground meat, and while the taste is just fine, the texture is NOT like the sausage you’d buy at the store.  We still have more sausage to make, more hams to cure, bacons to cure, and a bunch of ribs, loin, and chops to cut up, but at least the hard work is done.