Friday 16 November 2012

From Yard to Table

Even though the gardens have been picked clean long ago,
the Autumn harvest continues.
The weather is now cool enough to begin harvesting our animals.

We don't consider meat to be a staple,
but there may be enough for us to enjoy all Winter long.

Traditionally, I have done the killing and Kira does the cleaning.
After the deviant rooster incident last week,
Kira is ready to take over the chicken dispatch.
I will still be responsible for the ducks and hogs,
but it helps the rhythm of the day if Kira can grab a chicken or two when needed.

After several years, we are still perfecting our technique.
The task is kept as simple as possible.
We don't pluck the birds; they are just skinned.
The killing is clean and quick and done without an axe.

Neither of us grew up knowing how to handle livestock and turn animals into food,
though Kira has dressed a few deer with her father.
It is one thing to get the job done,
but it is another to make light work of it so that the job fits seamlessly into a normal day.

We let the kids watch the process and they are always interested.
They know where their meat comes from.
We all have soft hearts for the animals but death is as important in life as is birth.
Our children need to understand that as much as they must learn to care for and respect our farm animals.

There is a knowledge gap when it comes to how food is grown and prepared.
The risks are high if we allow that knowledge to remain solely in the hands of producers.
We are learning for ourselves what our parents are unable to teach us.
And so we will teach our children,
so that the knowledge gap doesn't continue to grow wider.



  1. Right on Kira! I'm so impressed that you did the 'dispatching' with a baby on your back. Laura Ingalls Wilder would be proud of you! Question... If not with an axe, how did you do the killing. I'm truly interested.

  2. Thank you for the complement! I felt a little unsure of Andrew posting this, Your kind words put me at ease.
    To kill our birds we break their neck then cut their throat to bleed.