Just wanted to give some feedback from a recent class I took on swine slaughter from Brandon Sheard, proprietor and lead butcher of Farmstead Meatsmith.
I was first introduced to his slaughter and butcher methods from Paul's podcast # 260 "Homestead Butchering Q&A". Ironically, they were reviewing Pig in a Day by River Cottage, but Brandon's insights and counter-culture were infective enough to fully warrant a look at his videos, produced with Farm Run.
Quite a fantastic hat-trick of instructional (not to mention inspirational) videos.
Recommendation beyond all other recommendations (go check 'em out) www.anatomyofthrift.com.
With a little luck (and a wife who extended my leash far further than she should), I was able to take a class from Brandon on Vashon Island early in March.
We were up in Puget Sound for a wedding and I was able to actually skip the official ceremony, get up early and drive two hours to Vashon to help and observe the slaughter of two Tamworth hogs.
From the moment I inquired about the class (via email) to the point at which I left, the Sheards, both Brandon and Lauren, were hospitable and humble and the experience was excellent.
The class was informative, slow-paced and Brandon did a great job of allowing time for all questions to be answered- from the ridiculous to the tedious.
I only stayed for the first hog (reception to go to), but I loved it. So many details of hog slaughter that cannot be picked up from videos or essays.
From tying the anus properly (to prevent contamination of the meat), to what temperature to scald at, how to clean butchering tools, curing, etc.- It was all great and worth while.
Below are a few photos.
I highly suggest anyone with hogs or thinking about hogs, or who eats hogs, or eats meat (or doesn't eat meat), watch the videos. Respectful, artful and thorough. www.anatomyofthrift.com
A "dutch baby" is not a baby. But this tiny ad is baby sized: