Friday, October 14, 2011


Posted from one of my homesteading groups. 

 Subject: [Homesteading Lifestyle] on-farm butchering how-to

The topic of how to butcher our own livestock right on the farm or
homestead has, interestingly, come up independently now on several email lists.
As if the stars have aligned to make us pay attention to such things. Or
maybe it's just the turn of the season from growing to harvesting. Either
way, lots of folks talking about such things and I promised I'd send some
links accordingly. Taaa-daaa, here's the list (so far).

There are several individuals and farms now advocating a return to on-farm
butchering as a craft, to be taught and respected and treasured. With the
advent of websites, blogs, Youtube and social media, these folks are
working to get the word out about How To Butcher, and how to do it well. I'm
sure there are more folks than the ones I've listed below, but I keep seeing
these folks talked about in a wide variety of settings. So they're probably
a good place to learn the craft, or at least dip the proverbial toe in the

Enjoy the reading, and please share if you know of someone in your area
teaching along these same lines:

The Farmstead Meatsmith
_ (
Based in the Seattle area, with local classes and a wide range of
educational materials available on their website.

The Portland Meat Collective
_ (
Based in Portland Oregon, they host local classes, instructional videos, a
blog, and a to-die-for list of related books, groups, and hyperlinks for
anyone who loves meat.

The Butcher's Guild
_ (
A North Carolina professional guild for both butchers and wanna-know-more
consumers. Big fans of Know Your Meat. Lots and lots of videos, and links
to butchering efforts, supportive restaurants and related companies around
the country.

The Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network
_ (
This group looks to be a brand new effort by the national family of
Extension offices, to serve as a hub for folks looking for local meat processors,
farms or butchers looking to start up meat processing facilities (both
stationary and mobile slaughter unit info), and existing facilities looking
for professional alliances and/or a broader customer base. In other words, a
virtual place to rub elbows with other appreciative carnivores.

The Brooklyn Kitchen
_ (
A wacky place in the heart of NYC, which reconnects urbanites to their
food. Classes classes classes galore, including lots of meat handling and
butchering, up to pig size. Not sure where in Brooklyn you'd find a live pig
in need of butchering. But if you have one, they'll show you how to
butcher it well. If memory serves, these folks were one of the first to recently
stand up and say "hey, this is important how-to information, even for
urbanites." Apparently a very charismatic staff and a loyal following there in
the Big Apple.

I am absolutely certain this is not a complete list. Please share if you
know of someone in your area doing a service like this.
Kathryn Kerby
Snohomish, WA
Ruminations - essays on the farming life at

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