Death Is Part of Life on the Farm

I was 15 minutes late to the Allen Farm this morning. It was cold and getting out of bed felt like torture on my bare skin, so I delayed as long as I could before rolling from beneath the covers to a standing position while cartwheeling in circles to gather the previously worn and cast aside clothes littering my floor. Socks would be worn for the third straight day, a T-shirt, button down and sweatshirt were already layered and pulled on easier than I thought.

Giving Chickens a Better Last Day

One of the very first things Ali Berlow tells you is that she’s never killed a chicken. “I’ve never killed a chicken, and I never intend to,” she says matter-of-factly.

This may sound surprising coming from the author of The Mobile Poultry Slaughterhouse: Building a Humane Chicken Processing Unit to Strengthen Your Local Food System.

Island Meat Producers Call For Vineyard Slaughterhouse

The future for living local is moving beyond eating Island-grown vegetables and fruits. Vineyarders are already eating Island-raised poultry on an increasingly large scale, and a growing group of farmers would like to see that expanded to include local beef, pork, lamb and venison.

In a special forum at the Living Local Harvest Festival on Saturday at the Agricultural Hall in West Tisbury, three farmers and a local chef spoke about their hope for a slaughterhouse on the Vineyard, despite a daunting array of government restrictions.

Island Grown Initiative Lands Grant to Study Slaughterhouse

Following on the success of the Island Grown Initiative’s mobile poultry processing unit, the organization has won a $40,000 federal grant to look at doing something similar with four-legged livestock.

The grant was announced on Friday, as officials from the U.S. Department of Agriculture came to the Vineyard to school locals on how they might share in hundreds of millions of dollars available from the government.

Long Road to Island-Grown Meat Now

As Farm Institute manager Julie Olson backed up her trailer full of pigs at Adams Farm in Athol, there was little indication she was outside of a slaughterhouse. The vista over the factory town is vast, animals patiently wait in their stalls in the large red barn and the smell of livestock is no different than on the plains of Katama.

Farmers Agree on Slaughterhouse Plan

The Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Society and Island Grown Initiative have joined forces in a venture to build a slaughterhouse behind the fairgrounds in West Tisbury.

The project is still in the very early stages of discussion and no permits have been obtained, but preliminary talks between the agricultural society and the nonprofit IGI are under way to allow a slaughterhouse facility to be built behind the new barn on society land.