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Category The General’s Philosophy

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Pig Harvest

Yesterday we harvested a pig. These are the General’s thoughts as the meat sits in the cold room:

PIg Meat Stored in whit box

The logistics of harvesting a 350kg pig are massive. The variables are a headache. Careful planning is imperative; most importantly the initial harvest has to be well structured to ensure the safety of the harvester, and ethical handling of pig.  Pigs are as clever as dolphins, you don’t get a second chance. Again the process has to be done within 1/100 of a second  – stun, bleed.

Because pigs are so clever moving them any place that is not home will create stress. I chose to harvest this animal in its place of residence (because of its size-and to guarantee safety of all involved with the harvest).  The biggest challenge is the ability to move the pig for final harvesting...

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Harvest of Bovine

Today we harvested beef.

Havest beef 015

Today we gave respect to the bovine that yielded that beef. The respect was a death of dignity and honour – death came quickly. There was no slaughter stress, harvest went as planned.

bloodblood 2skin on

It is I who facilitated this harvest, but I was not alone, to my right was my wife (my best friend), to my left was Sgt. (right hand man). It took us 5 hours to complete the harvest. We employed some different techniques to get the job done. Something for future urban agriculturists to take note of:

hanging action shot

We used a cable strap to secure the anus then took it backward through the cavity to ensure a clean harvest. This is the third time I have used this system – works well.

Removed the tongue before rigor mortis set in.

skin 3Skin 1

Used a different  version of skinning.

action shot 2Havest beef 018

We harvested beef in...

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Harvest in the Garage

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The harvest area is prepped.

The jack props and wood beam are in place to take the weight of the carcass as I dress it. Once the animal has been bled I can remove the hooves and secure the back tendon on to the angle iron. This will keep the hind quarters apart and allow for easier skinning. Whilst I work I can use this contraption to slowly raise the carcass, with the neck down. In the first few minutes I hoist up to ensure a good bleed. There will be a lot of blood.

Having the responsibility to slaughter a big animal that you and your family have been accountable for, watched and cared for – it’s not a task you just potter off and do...

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How does our Free-Range, Pasture-Fed, Organic Meat land on the chopping block?

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How did the meat land on the chopping block?

We don’t really want to know!

Because meat is muscle, and the animal that it supported had die to put that meat on the chopping block. Although many people love the idea of eating pasture reared meat, they stop before thinking about the ending of that life. But the ending of the life is the most important part of eating that meat!

Life feeds off life. Perhaps sometimes we get caught up in organic/free range “activism” and miss the point.  Regardless of what we are going to eat, we need to eat it, or we die. And because we don’t die, something else has had to – this is the circle of life. The celebration that life can sustain another life.

As we slowly evolve as a species that has not given this much thought to animal ethics for 100 years; ...

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