Thursday, December 07, 2006

Always Learning Something New

Our family can add one more item to our growing list of new things learned. Yesterday we got going early and drove 1-1/2 hours to help our friends the Hendersons with butchering and processing pigs.

It was very cold outside, and I felt sorry for the men having to work in such a biting cold wind. Donna and I stayed in the house with their younger boys while everyone else did the pigs in. I must admit I was thankful not to have to watch that process! The pigs were killed and gutted, and then it was time for lunch. When I really stop to think about it, it's amazing that anyone could eat after gutting a pig, but activities like that just become another fact of life when living on a farm. A friend once asked me how I could stand working with dead animals, and I guess I can honestly say if you have to do something -- you do it. Must be part of God's grace in helping me to do just one more farm related activity.

Later in the afternoon we were ready for the actual processing of the meat. Hendersons have a bandsaw that was purchased specifically for meat cutting, and it did a very slick job. They also use it for processing venison, and Jim and Jonathan had a lesson from a great teacher in how to do the various cuts of meat. My job was to wrap all the meat. I sure hope I did a good job, as I don't want to waste any of it. I don't remember how long it took, but I thought we were done with the first pig; however, I was informed that we had only processed half of it! Porkchops, steaks and ribs just kept on coming my way.

We didn't make it home until 1:30 a.m., but we certainly weren't empty handed. One of those processed pigs came home with us. What a blessing it is to have home grown chickens, venison, and a pig raised by friends in our freezers.


Emily said...

Hi Lynn! Just stopping by to see what you're all up to. Butchering hogs yet! My in-laws raised pigs for a while back when their six children were young. Dwayne would not like to repeat the experience I guess so we'll stick with the poultry. It must feel so good to have all that meat in your freezer. We've been talking about butchering some guineas, especially the loud-mouth females, but are scared to take the plunge! Better decide soon I suppose because it's not getting any warmer. The first one is probably the hardest!

Goodolboy said...

Hey Lynn, Thanksa for dropin by my site. We want to try some hogs next year. Going to start with 2 maybe 3 at the most. Tom (Northern Farmer) says they are one of the easiest things to raise. Watch me make a mess of it. Tell Jim it is time to build a smoke house for them hams and bacon.

BonnieJ said...

Wow! It sounds like a very neat experience and I'm sure the meat will be great.

Hopeful Agrarian said...

Hi Lynn,
your remark about eating after guttin' hogs brings to mind how it used to be such a big deal to us to not eat chicken for a long time after butcherin' day. I can say that after a couple years now we don't even think twice about it. (the next day at least) We still purposefully choose beef for the butcherin day meals.

BTW, I just was over listening to a couple tunes your boys made. It is awesome what they are doing. Makes me a little jealous though. :)

Marci said...

Our first big animal butchering experience was also a hog. We went down to a friends house in Naples, FL. The hog weighed around 600 lbs. Think, HOT southern Florida in the summer butchering a large hog. It was not a pretty sight, but we got some more experience under our belt. Glad it went well and that you have some more meat choices!!!

We too used to wonder about eating when processing. We are to the point now, when we butcher broilers, we put one on the grill or smoker for later that day. All in a day's work!