This is HUGE news for us. We built a slaughter facility for on-farm processing and it is finally USDA inspected. To date, we are only the second federally inspected on-farm processing facility in the country, able to slaughter all livestock.
Why is this such a big deal? For several reasons, but first and foremost, humane treatment of the animals. Before we gained the USDA inspection, the animals were sent in a trailer 1-2 hours away to a slaughter facility in PA. And while this facility is excellent and the staff is gentle with the livestock, the animals had to endure the ride and then wait, often with other animals, several hours before slaughter.
Because our animals are pasture-raised and handled by the same people every day, this was not ideal. Below are some of our pigs and sheep ‘wintering’ on Carter Road in Hopewell.
In addition, weekly travel to and from the slaughter facility took up precious farmer time and fuel. With our new operation, the animals are led to the slaughter by the farmers with whom they are familiar. The process is quick and humane.
And finally, there is never any question as to which animal we are getting back from slaughter. We spend a lot of time caring for our livestock and want to be sure the meat we sell at the market is from the animals we raised on pasture here in Hopewell.
Oh it’s so frustrating when those varmints are just on the other side of the fence. So close…
And yet, so far…
Blue tried for the better part of 45 minutes to get into the enclosure with the pigs.
Just to get one little nip at the heels in on all those tender hocks! But no.
In fact, she needs to steer clear of the animals until she is a good bit older. If she goes in with the animals when she’s too young and gets spooked, she might be afraid to herd.
But on the other side of the fence she’s fierce!
She even got Sarge and Sami into the action.
But at the end of the day, the pigs just came right up to the fence and trotted back and forth (in a taunting fashion, it seemed to me). Ho hum.
Back to the house for some TLC and positive reinforcement.
While the vegetable fields lay quietly under the snow and freezing ice, our new vegetable partners are busy planning for the 2015 season! Phil and Bennett Haynes, brothers from Ralston Farms in Mendham, NJ, are expanding their CSA and retail operations and relocating to our farm in Hopewell.
See the article HERE. And keep an eye out for their produce at the Brick Farm Market this spring! Meanwhile, we’ll keep dreaming of spring…
Speaking of dreams. Sarge can just dream on about this ‘catch’. So close, yet so far.
“Maybe if I just push a little on the tree and shake her out…”
Not to worry, Ginger slipped out of the tree and took off as soon we were on the other side of the fence.
Have a happy Valentine’s Day. Need something great to eat or give as a gift? Come to the MARKET today and tomorrow and pick up everything for that special someone…