Sunday, 13 July 2014

Caught Red Handed

Well. Life is never dull for part time farmers.

Last week, we sent off three hoggets - they go to a very local abattoir, and on to the butcher in town to be parceled up for sale or trade.

This time, it all went a bit wrong. The hoggets went off alright, and ended up in the butcher's chiller, but then the butcher went out of business, was locked out of his own establishment, and our sheep - two of them pre-sold to customers - were locked in.

To cut a very long story a little bit shorter,  Neil managed to get in touch with the tenant of the flat above the butcher, and he managed to get a key (which is just as well, because his electricity meter was in the shop and he was 12p from darkness)  and we rescued them and got them off to our dear neighbour and onetime butcher, across the field, who with remarkable restraint and not too many 'I told you so's undertook to finish the job.

In their removal from the aforementioned premises, Neil and his new chum from the overhead apartment did the weight lifting, and I was left outside, in the street, by an estate car, with six half hogget carcasses. I was covering them with sheets of catering plastic, to keep them clean and safe, as they came out, and in order to do that, I was wielding a knife.

Stood lookout, like a low paid, half share, accomplice, on a quiet street in a market town. Armed with a knife and a giant roll of clingfilm. Just a run of the mill kind of day.

I understand and respect the decision some people make to be vegetarian. In general, the one position I can't relate to is the one where people choose to eat meat, but are squeamish about how it gets on their plate, and prefer it square and cleanly wrapped from a supermarket, and actually often have the cheek to disparage people who *are* involved in the raising, killing and processing of their own meat.

Today, for one brief moment, I could almost kind of see their point.

In the end though, even looking like a member of a criminal gang, which after all is a one off - or it had better be - is worth it in the interests of eating meat we have met. Our hoggets are between one and two years old - they have always seen a summer - and raised on good downland grass and fresh air.

Now that we are back with our old butcher, it is safe to say, we have a few more ready, so please contact me if you'd like to stock up the freezer with ethically produced, sweet Jacob lamb.




  1. Shame there's no picture!!
    And yes please, I'll have some meat off you... just need to visit with the car.