Apologies for the dramatic pause, but I’ve been in a bit of a transition over the past few weeks. A new and dirtier chapter of my life has just begun. I’m going to attempt to tell you the story of how I got to where I am now – in a trailer, on a farm, in central Pennsylvania – in a paragraph. Here goes…
You may recall that I’ve taken a serious interest in butchery. Well, back in January I started looking for opportunities to continue learning and turned over every rock I could in search of some kind of apprenticeship. I got a lot of encouragement and met some great people in the process (like the very awesome founders of The Butcher’s Guild) but my quest was otherwise unsuccessful. Then one day I came across a Kickstarter campaign that led me to Brooks and Anna – two young, smart, ambitious farmers who are dedicated to sustainable agriculture and traditional meat processing. And so, after many emails, a visit to the farm, and much planning with my very, very supportive husband, I have just begun an apprenticeship at North Mountain Pastures. I am now a student of farming, butchery, meat curing and a whole new pace of living.
For the next 7+ months I’ll be living hours away from the city that I call home. I’m taking leave from my life with Brad in Brooklyn to pursue this solo mission. Now my days are spent working on a farm – there are chickens, pigs and cows to feed and move to fresh pasture, eggs to collect, goats to milk, not to mention sausage to stuff and salumi to cure. A chicken butchering day is on the horizon but for now we’re busy with projects like building mobile chicken shelters, finishing out the new butcher shop and getting the trailer (my new place of residence) in order. For this I’ve dug some holes and spent hours wielding an angle grinder. In between all the work, meals are shared around the table in the farmhouse with a group of people who are slowly becoming my new family.
There will be many tales to tell and I’ll be sharing them here, but for now I’m still settling in and getting used to stepping in ankle deep muck and chicken shit to catch escaped peeps while performing my morning chores.