Butcher Shop Construction Completed

Walter Placing Aquabot Cover – Last Construction Detail

Yesterday we completed the last bit of construction on the butcher shop – I got the Aquabot in place and hooked up with electricity and plumbing. That is the last construction item on my list – A milestone!

All of the concrete poured, ground and sealed.
All of the plumbing glued, crimped and flowing.
All of the wiring connected and electrified.
All of the equipment installed and tested.

Today I began cleaning up the construction site, putting away tools and materials, beginning the process of getting the butchering room, iCutter, ready for our dry run test which will be quickly followed by our wet run with a half pig. After that we’ll do our final wet run with master butcher Cole Ward who we apprenticed with for 18 months to learn the art of butchering pork. That pig is already slaughtered and waiting in the freezer for the big day when we’ll cut our first meat in the butcher shop at Sugar Mountain Farm.

In the last few weeks I’ve also working on our HACCP/PR and SSOP sanitation plans and other paperwork. Once I have these finalized I will submit them for review so we can get our license and begin work under inspection.

While that regulatory approval happens we’ll do our above described dry and then wet runs to test the entire system. This first pig won’t be under inspection so it can’t be sold. I want to work out any kinks in the process before we actually start cutting meat for other folks.

I still have a few little things to do such as a chip of paint to patch on a door sill and a spot to paint on a chip on the wall. As I clean up I’ll undoubtedly find a few more details like that. However, construction is officially completed. The butcher shop is ready to begin butchering and sausage making. All we need now is our final license.

Outdoors: 75°F/62°F Overcast
Tiny Cottage: 69°F/64°F

So what is the Aquabot you ask… It is an Automatic Quick reUsable Aquatic Bug Optical Trap – i.e. AQUABOT. It uses Ultra Violet (UV) light plus some Infra-Red (IR) light to attract any insects in the room and cause them to walk a labyrinth to their deaths. The bodies are then automatically collected and disposed of through a P-trap. Venus fly traps, sundew, arthropods and fish can also be incorporated for disposing of the dead by turning them into fluid ammonia and other compounds where by they are disposed of in a natural manner. I was originally inspired to create these by observing my terrariums and aquariums back in the 1990’s. We have a simple version in our cottage that rids our home of the tiny gnats that come through the window screens as well as the occasional moth and house fly. In the butcher shop the cutting room is so cool that we almost never see any insects plus the building is tightly sealed and the air flow is controlled – this keeps insects and other vermin out. But we need some form of pest control for dealing with the rare bug (1 so far) who enters. Thus the Aquabot which works tirelessly 24/7 at a cost of about $3/year.

Daily Spark: The advertisement said “Experience True Visibility Snorkeling on Maui” but what it didn’t say was “Very Few of Our Visitors Get Eaten by Sharks.” Marketing is all about presentation.

About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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32 Responses to Butcher Shop Construction Completed

  1. JohnL says:

    Congratulations!! The dream goes on. Inspirational, that’s what you all are.

  2. am in the pm says:

    Congratulations !

  3. traye says:

    Congratulations. Inspirational indeed. Gives chills.

    You do much to make all small farmers proud.

  4. Alan Taplow says:

    Congratulations — a major red-letter day, for sure.

  5. eggyknap says:

    Congratulations! How long was the build, overall? And (if you don’t mind my asking) how well did your original budget and schedule far in the process?

    …and you couldn’t be persuaded to post more details on how to build an AQUABOT, could you? For the sake of DIY-ers that happen to live a quarter mile from a feedlot, for instance?

  6. David Lloyd Sutton says:

    Congratulations to your family. I admire your ingenuity and construction genius . . . and am in awe of your negotiation of the regulatory requirements without the commission of a single assault.

  7. karl says:

    Wow, that is epic. Congratulations to the Jefferies. May your butcher shop be successful and fulfilling.


  8. Gina Cannon says:


  9. Farmerbob1 says:

    It’s all been said already by others, but I’ll say it again. Congratulations!

  10. Andy says:

    Congratulations on reaching your milestone!

  11. Jes says:

    Congratulations! When do you expect to be able to slaughter livestock as well as butcher them?

  12. Dan Moore says:

    Awesome achievement Walter! Congratulations. I’d also like to know more about your aquabot in the future. We deal with a tremendous amount of flies on our farm and of course they make it in the house where they drive my wife crazy. I’d be her hero if I could install something that would attract and kill them in our kitchen.

    • There are a number fairly passive systems like the Aquabot, some of which are designed for specific species. When I write up about the Aquabot I should really do a quick over view of other methods of organic pest control.

  13. SueK says:

    Congratulations to all of you! What an accomplishment and thank you for sharing your journey…amazing!

  14. This project took perseverance and dedication from you and your family. A job well done!

  15. Marc says:

    I too would love to hear about your AQUABOT! Congratulations on the final details!

  16. Cary Howe says:

    Congratulations! It’s been a long battle and I followed you every step of the way. Your attention to detail was amazing and you must have one of the best small scale private facilities in the country. Can’t wait to hear you are cranking out product.

  17. karl says:

    video walkthrough please?

    • Will do. It is often asked for and this fall will be an ideal time to do one because we’ll have the first part of the butcher shop finished, the second phase in construction and the third phase in it’s bare bones structural form so one can see the various steps of construction.

  18. Leslie Good says:

    Love your blog and daily sparks. I read every post.

    Congratulations on your butchershop! I am so impressed by what you take on and finish.

    Now, to make your fortune, sell us all an aquabot! Or the plans. Or post how to make one.

    City Girl

    • How about I just give it away. :) Details to follow soon. First I have to finish the HACCP plan and get our license so we can start cutting and then I’ll write up the Aquabot construction and functioning details.

  19. Julia says:

    Awesome sauce!

    I also await more info about the Aquabot. I HATE flies in the house, and my husband grew up in California where flies are rare. He sometimes forgets how important it is to close doors/screens to keep the buggers out.

  20. James Bell says:

    Congratulation on this major milestone in the history of your farm. It’s been fascinating watching the construction and progress. I’ll be staying to watch as the other facilities are built out in the future. Your innovation has been inspiring for me to witness!

  21. Peter says:

    Congrats to you and your family on this milestone!

  22. Drew Norman says:

    Congratulation what a long trip and learning experience it has been.I would love to see a photo essay of the finished building. Thank you for educating and entertaining during my lunch breaks. Drew

  23. Orrin says:

    Hi Walter,
    I wondered if you could point me to any further resources in regards to your Aquabot fly trap. I remembered this post from years ago and was thinking that I would like to construct something similar.
    Thanks in advance,

    • Not really any further resources. It has been working well in all its incarnations now for decades including the one in the butcher shop that is about six years old now. The basic idea is something that attracts them (light at the right wavelength & warmth) and then water, flowing by ideally, to flush away the dead bodies. “May your enemies bodies flow down the river before your eyes…” Some of my early versions were positioned over fish tanks which works too.

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