All this snow is affecting our production. With the best will in the world feeding species rich hay is not enough to fatten sheep in snow conditions.
As a result we haven’t been able to take any to slaughter for a while now.
I could take them leaner – but that would impact quality of the meat (less fat is not good).
I could feed them concentrate feed to fatten them – but then they wouldn’t taste as good.
Looks like I’ll have to wait and do a bit more selling in the spring.
Who brought up this whole food integrity thing anyway?
I’m reading a great Book Called Pig Perfect.
Peter Kaminski describes some remarkable encounters with pig producers and their pigs from all over Europe and the U.S.
On one of his pork related adventures in France he pulls into a yard with mud higher than his ankles and as he approaches he sees an ancient stone/brick outbuilding among the livestock sheds full of local people about to take part in a long held tradition of a community pig slaughter and feast.
He describes the scene as everyone settles down to some great wine next to an enormous fire-place, while couldrons of bean stew bubble on the fire and a pan of Fois Gras sizzles away. The mingled smells of farm animals, dogs wandering around, damp hay, wood smoke, wine and the glorious scent of the soon to be cooked feast. It sounded wonderful.
But then I thought of the regulations that now entwine our every action and wondered if this scene would be legal in Britain?
We have been pinged by the authorities just for having our dog lie by the Aga while we cook a Breakfast for paying guests – what would they think if it was pigs, sheep and cattle too?!?
There are new onerous regulations coming in to the EU about home slaughter for your own consumption – as if the regulations for slaughter that have destroyed local abatoirs across Britain were not bad enough. Could the big grocers be starting to worry about people killing their own stock and saving money on their meat bill?
Just because this scene might be illegal in Britain doesn’t mean it can’t happen. But when you tie these community events up in red tape is it any wonder that these events start to occur less frequently?
We sanitise our life at the expense of our experiences. If we want rich, warm encounters that linger in the memory (unless you had too much wine) then we really should accept that to eliminate risk is to eliminate the imperfections that make life worth living.