When I first moved down here, it was originally because of a hot lead from brent the butcher, partner behind brooklyn’s the meat hook. he had said a guy he used to work with at marlow and sons had moved down to athens, georgia--and with a kind off odd smile (which I now can understand)--he said, “and they’re doing a lot of cool stuff.” the odd smile no doubt referring the tentacle like, farm fueled behemoth that is our farm's family—two nationally known and talked about restaurants, a local coffee roaster and coffee bar, both a vegetable and meat csa for the local community, and a regional network of small scale, sustainable, and humane meat producers. from the first time i heard about it, i knew i needed to know more...
Entries in farm to table (9)
piglets that are not castrated will result in a lower quality finished product. they will waste a lot of their energy on testosterone driven sexnanigans, as opposed to devoting it towards becoming delicious tasting, like their castrated brethren. castration eliminates the dreaded “boar taint”, which is the off putting scent associated with full balled boars. in most cases i find this “taint” to be non existent in our heritage breed, mixed diet, pasture raised hogs, but on occasion it has been observed.
and lastly, castration stops them from raping their sisters. so, all around, i’d say it’s a good call.
after several weeks without taking a day off, i found myself a bit burnt, and extremely tired. rookie mistake, i know. scheduling days off, after years of strictly knowing five on-two off, is a skill yet to be breached, but newly on my radar. with no fuel in the tank, and a short, but important list of tasks, i looked elsewhere to find my motivation.
luckily, it was everywhere.
woah, boys. easy now.
while attempting to introduce our two new bulls to the herd (located several fence lines, over the hill, and halfway to grandma’s away), a lapse in one section of our temporary alley allowed the transferees to undermine the plans. one second they were in the alley, and the next second they were in full trot, in tandem, towards the farthest possible location they could find—the tree line, three hundred yards away.
son of a.
this is as close as we come to some real deal, yee-haw, cowboy antics. a three hundred yard cow move, bringing the herd home to welcome the new arrivals. we are taking advantage of this moment of integration—new steers—to accomplish a couple other things on the list. one, we are sending them from one side of the farm, all the way to the opposite end of the pasture—grass they haven’t grazed in many months. secondly, we are providing the herd with an exercise on running everyone to home base. never a bad thing to master.
another graduating class of piglets make their first little hoof prints on the rough streets of general population. as they leave the small piglet pen they have inhabited for the last month, they are leaving behind their entire world. it’s all they know.