Today some dear friends who had their own abattoir in South Africa came to the farm and we processed some sheep and lambs. There is so much emotion with loving and raising your own food. Getting to the point of being able to actually kill and process your own animals does take time and living the life of living with your animals and going through the stages of life and death, loving and comforting them through all the stages in between.
Those who have come to the place of knowing and understanding the importance of eating grass-fed meat and not supporting the big-farm and big-pharm aspect of industrial factory farming and all it’s cruelty and poison will understand that even though there is pain in living and pain in dying, the beauty of living life to its fullest and in health and love still hurts when that life comes to it’s full end.
We all decided that pictures of it all would not be able to capture the spirit.
I will focus on one aspect of today, and it is something you will very seldom see or be able to buy, and that is a delicacy called caul fat. This is a special membrane which encompasses all of the organs in a sack that entwined with lovely fat.
It is used to wrap roasts, pates, roulades and other dishes to be roasted and moistened in luxurious fat. A true delicacy.
These are some pictures of caul fat from two sheep we did today for ourselves.
The reason we processed these two sheep was this. One was named Maid Marion and was one of our favorites. Last winter, I would wait until about 8am to begin feeding hay, and the temperatures had warmed up from 40 below to about 10 below. I put out all the hay first and then let out the sheep from their warm barn. When they all came running to the hay in the meadow, a tiny lamb from way down the valley got up and ran to her mom. I was shocked, knowing that that baby lamb had spent the night outside and somehow had gotten overlooked when all the sheep had been gathered the night before, and had survived coyotes and bitter cold. Her ears were frostbitten severely, and she has not been able to ever have lambs of her own and it would not be right to ever sell her, or try and breed her as her strength would not be what it should be.
Our other dear sheep, Polly, who was one of Nonny’s favorites, had a parrot mouth. I’m not really sure why she had named her Polly in the first place, as it had nothing to do with the parrot mouth which I did not know about until she had grown up, but it is an abnormality where the lower jaw does not meet up properly with the upper, resulting in an overbite, and sheep cannot properly graze and achieve proper nutrition. Polly was a rejected lamb who was adopted by a ewe who had had twins the same day as Polly’s real mom, and was adopted by her. We named that dear mom, who now had three babies to take care of, Carol, after Carol Paul (Dr. Ron Paul’s wife) the dearest woman we knew at the time.
Polly, as with all our animals, being properly spoiled, did not have trouble getting enough good grazing feed, but even still should be culled as not to possibly pass this on to her progeny.
Natanielle was most brave, helping end her life, loving her.