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Meat: Raising, Slaughtering And Butchering Your Own Animals

Marcie Sillman
08/26/2011 at 9:00 a.m.

As you walk around your neighborhood in the city these days, you're likely to see backyard gardens with a bounty of fresh vegetables. You might also see a few chickens scratching away in the dirt. Or maybe even a pig. Growing vegetables is one thing, but how do you go about raising animals? How do you bring yourself to slaughter the animals you share your yard with, and what do you do with them once they're dead?

Even if you don't want to raise your own animals, you might not want to buy from industrial scale meat operations. Of course that kind of meat can be very expensive, partly because small scale farmers face a number of challenges getting their meat to market. KUOW's Marcie Sillman takes up the issues around raising animals for meat.

Plus, Nick Bond joins us with a weekend weather forecast.


Kurt Timmermeister manages a 13 acre farm and dairy on Vashon Island. There he raises a dozen Jersey cows, three hogs, two farm dogs, and a couple dozen laying hens. He sells his Dinah's cheese to restaurants and markets in Seattle. His book is "Growing a Farmer: How I Learned to Live Off the Land."

Brandon Sheard is part–owner, with his wife, of Farmstead Meatsmith, a small scale meat processor for farms and homesteads in the Pacific Northwest. He worked at Sea Breeze Farm on Vashon Island from 2008 to 2010 and then as the head butcher and charcutier at La Boucherie Restaurant. He lives on Vashon.

Cheryl Ouellette manages a 5 acre farm, is president of the King–Pierce Farm Bureau, former project manager of the Mobile Meat Processing Unit, and former president of the Puget Sound Meat Producers Co–operative. She raises pigs, cows, vegetables, chickens, herbs, ducks, goats and turkeys.

Monty Mahan is the special projects director for the Pierce Conservation District. He is a fundraiser and project planner for environmental and agricultural development projects. He is also a parent of nine teenagers, who he tries to feed in a healthy and sustainable manner.

Nick Bond is the Washington State Climatologist and works at the Joint Institute for the Study of Atmosphere and Ocean.

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