Tag Archives: butchering workshop

Seasonal Thoughts

22 Dec


There was a time in my youth when it was common to hear my parents, aunts, and uncles talk of how hard things were during the Great Depression. If anyone would know, they would: My mother was one of seventeen children, and my father one of thirteen. 

My mother and father divorced when I was eight years old. Things were pretty tough for a single mother of 10 with 7 children still at home. The food budget was very limited and waste of any kind was not even thinkable. We used every scrap of food. Dessert was a luxury reserved for holidays. Often for days at a time a meal consisted of bread and gravy. Mealtime was a time for family and a time to give thanks for what we did have to eat.

The labor my mother went through to make a dozen loaves of bread on a wood cook stove did not go unappreciated. Today my family honors her memory for all of the effort, hard work, and love that she put into providing for her children. 

Food is the bedrock of our lives, and those who produce it deserve to be honored. In my early days, respect was bestowed on the art of butchery. That seemed to vanish during the 1970s, and my aim – as by now you all know – is to bring it back.  

I have a bumper sticker on my truck that says No Farmers, No Food. I believe that seeking out and supporting local agriculture has terrific benefits. Consumers become more knowledgeable about the food they eat and develop links with the land—a spiritual as well as practical benefit. Farmers benefit through exposure to larger markets and often better prices for their animals. Small local shops that carry local meats develop stronger ties with customers and have a wider range of exciting products to advertise and sell. 

I’m tired of seeing “Oh, that’s good enough” owners who take no pride in what they offer their customers. This is the sort of thing that disgusts a butcher of my generation. If I put time, energy, and expense into raising an animal for meat, I want the best that animal has to offer. I want to honor it by masterfully cutting it to maximize every ounce and use every edible part. I want my cuts to be beautiful and uniform as possible—laying the meat out as though I were painting the Mona Lisa.

So my conclusion? It’s time for a change.

How about this? Let’s not accept second or third best. Let’s not condone cruel and unethical practices. Let’s learn about where our food comes from and teach our kids. Let’s support the farmers who feed us and stop pretending that what happens outside cities doesn’t matter. Let’s try sitting down as a family around the dinner table to give thanks for the food and its producers. And let’s thank the animal it came from, too.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!


PS: And a special add-on for the person who emailed me about lamb butchery courses. Of course I offer them – occasionally. Just call me at 802 372 – 0681. See what a pushover I am?

PIG WORKSHOP!!! Fun for all.

19 Jun
So, what are you planning to do on July 21st?
If you’re anywhere near New Hampshire, why not come to my pig workshop?  We’re doing a large sow (that’s a female pig for you pig-illiterati).
Here’s the scoop:
WHEN:       Saturday July 21
WHERE:     Jefferson New Hampshire, at the home of Bob and Vanessa Eich.
                      23 Chambers Road, Jefferson, New Hampshire 03253.
MORE:       The workshop will begin at 9 a.m. Coffee and sandwiches (lunch) included.
COST:          $ 80 per person for a full day of superb teaching by …. me!
HOW:          Register by calling me at 802 881 1468 OR
                       email me at colethebutcher@yahoo.com OR
                       call Vanessa Eich at 603 631 5018
Note that this workshop must be prepayed by sending your check to C.W.Enterprises,
PO Box 18, Johnson VT 05656.
Class space is limited so register early.
These workshops are a lot of fun and we encourage you to take photos and video. And be sure to ask questions.
See you all in Jefferson .

PIG AND LAMB WORKSHOP – want to come?

29 Nov

If anyone out there is interested in learning how to butcher a pig and a lamb, I’ll be doing a workshop Sunday Dec 4th 9am-5pm in Cabot, Vermont.  

The address is 156 Urban Rd, Cabot

To register call or email Susan Socks (802) 563-2073 or email cabotfarm@gmail.com
Cost: $75 (Registration is limited to 6 participants)

Here are the directions to the location:

From Montpelier, route 2 east to intersection with 215 (in Marshfield).
From St Johnsbury, route 2 west to intersection with 215.
From points north or south, pick your favorite road to get to route 2, follow to 215.

Take 215 to Cabot Village. In downtown Cabot, bear right onto Danville Hill Rd (hardware store and grocery will be on your left). Go approximately 1.8 miles to Urban Rd. Turn left onto Urban Rd, and go about 400 ft. We are the first house on the right, white house with green roof.