Here’s the fun thing about a blog – letting it go dormant is as easy as just disappearing into the night with no explanation needed, but suddenly bringing it back from the dead usually requires some sort of mea culpa type “where have I been” post. I’d love to say that I spent the last two-ish years just converting the site to WordPress, and that would only be a little bit untrue.
Without getting into boring (thrilling) personal details let it just suffice to say that my wife and I moved to Vermont about 2 years, started the pastured-meat smallholding of our dreams, and I’ve got a job running food business incubation at a shared-use USDA inspected processing facility. While my day to day life is much less hands-on retail butchery than it had been for the 5 years or so before moving up, I’m much more involved in the start to finish world of livestock agriculture, and high end USDA inspected value added processing. My days are a lot less cutting pork chops for the case, and a lot more doing cost analysis for a charcuterie maker utilizing old world techniques and Vermont raised pork.
As usual I’ve found myself punching above my weight with people who have been walking the talk on the local, organic, and regenerative agriculture front for longer than I’ve been alive. One of the great things about Vermont is that pretty much everyone involved in agriculture here has eschewed commercial practices to some extent. (It’s been a few years, I use words like “eschewed” now, deal with it). I’m learning a ton and I’m incredibly grateful to get to spend my time among some of the best farmers and producers in the country. If you haven’t had the chance to make it up to the Green Mountain State I highly recommend you start planning your next vacation now. You’ll definitely eat well.
On the personal side, we purchased a 7 acre hillside property in *literally* the middle of nowhere Vermont and are working like crazy to make it into a proper smallholding. As I sit here drinking my New England Style Quadruple IPA I’m looking at our 7 laying hens, 13 turkeys, 2 idiot dogs, and somewhere off in the distance I can hear the buzz of my wife’s bee hive. Pigs are on the agenda for next spring and sheep are coming sometime after that.
My goal is to spend a little more time working on The Meat Case, documenting what we’ve got going on around the farm, keeping up with Meat Cuts 101, and generally ranting about pasture raised meat and meat processing with the occasional meat porn thrown in for good measure. Will it ever be a regular thing? Will I ever get that book deal/weekly New Yorker column? Time will tell – but in any event, it’s good to be back
Oh! Because I miss cutting meat oh so much I’m starting to offer some custom butchery for locals raising pork or beef. If you live in Vermont and need your backyard livestock turned into high quality roasts, chops, and sausages, get in touch!