Administration & Smokehouse Forming Up – Click for Big Panorama
What you see before you is the administration section, Admin, of our on-farm butcher shop. We’ll soon be ready to make one last pour of the eyar before the weather turns to winter.
To the left is the already poured reefer section of the butcher shop. The last pour did the concrete walls and vaulted ceilings of the carcass chiller, cutting room and commercial kitchen. With this coming pour we’ll do the top coat of the vaults and the beams as well as the freezer, cooler and brine rooms sub-floors with their PEX tubing for heat transfer.
Directly in front of me Will† is putting up joists to hold the arch forms is where our smokehouse will be. The clean entry to cutting and kitchen will also go there. Closest to me in that section is the space for the mechanical room where our refrigeration and heat recovery systems will go.
The long thin area to the right of that is the hallway and entry into the building. It will have a tall elegantly shallow curved ceiling giving an impressing of great depth. This provides an entry to keep out pests and allows traffic between the areas without walking through clean spaces so as to maximize sanitation.
Covered over temporarily with plywood is the USDA inspector’s office in the far corner and then closer to me on the right is the bathroom with shower and laundry facilities. Will and Ben have already finished the form work for that section up to but not including the arch trusses. Later this winter we will parge those areas with white fiber stucco like we did in the cottage bathroom. That came out beautifully and I look forward to playing more with those techniques.
Continuing to the right is the Abattoir, the slaughterhouse section of our facility. This will allow us to complete the cycle of life from breeding to plate all on our farm. Just outside the Abattoir you can see a corner of what will be the lairage where the animals rest on their last day. We are already in the process of adjusting our pastures such that we’ll be able to have a wheel of life where the animals are bred, move through gestation fields, farrowing, weaning, growing and eventually end up at the on-farm slaughterhouse after their typical six months to eight years†† on the farm. Bringing the slaughter on-farm means the animals won’t have the long trip to the butcher or the strange environment, both of which are stresses. This means more humane handling for them from breeding to slaughter and better quality meat for our customers. For us it brings control over the process into our hands so we can make sure everything happens right and slaughter is available when we’ll need it.
In the distance you can see newly arrived winter hay as well as the old farmhouse which is finding new uses since we built our cottage nearly six years ago.
We’ll be doing another monolithic floor to ceiling pour. At just over nine feet this pour won’t be quite as tall as the last which topped out at about 15′. The reason for the tall pour last time was so that we will be able to hang cattle and big boars.
Once this pour is completed we’ll tidy up the construction site exterior and switch to indoor work on construction after we do a little farm and cottage late fall ‘prep-for-winter’ work that is becoming more and more demanding.
Outdoors: 47°F/29°F Partially Sunny
Tiny Cottage: 68°F/66°F
Daily Spark: “Get behind me I said to the ass” and Donkey did. -Some Big Green Ogre
†Will is wearing the latest in fashion headwear: “Don’t-Shoot-Me-I’m-Not-A-Deer” day-glo-Orange in Orange town, Orange county, Vermont.