Today the last Black-Belly-Barbados Sheep was butchered. The processing was shared by a group of Alderleaf Wilderness College students who were eager to get some experience breaking down an animal and learning a few cuts.

While it rained heavily outside, the crew was busily turning a whole ewe into lovely food for our larders. For many, quartering and deboning the whole animal was a totally new experience. We all laughed about what we see neatly packed on the shelves at grocery stores, and reflected on not knowing where that meat had come from or how it was raised. IMG_4498
Having the opportunity to do hands on meat processing where you can also walk out the door and into the landscape nurturing that animal, on top of learning with the woman who stewards that land and said animal; priceless.

For Leafhopper Farm, that’s the vision; a place where people receive a more hand on approach to learning and maintaining their basic needs. Food is our sustenance. What feeds our food should also be clean and healthy, like us. This land is lush, alive, and tended with holistic intent. Now, the fruits of that labor of love are being harvested and shared with others.

When the class began, I started off by telling everyone that I was still learning too. The chance for me to step in front of a group and present what I know is edgy, but following my path. It’s the commitment to giving back, sharing freely, and celebrating a love of learning.

It’s always so much fun to work with others; to share something of ourselves, an experience, and the simple gratitude for all around us; makes the task something more than work.

In the end, all were more aware of themselves, and the world around them, even in something as simple as sheep butchering; because it’s not so simple, and there is such richness in food grown and harvested in such a way. Thank you for sharing in this.

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