Lamb reservations are currently open; the deposit can be submitted here.

Lamb slaughter is scheduled for late fall, usually November. I witness many of my lambs' births each spring, and during their first weeks of life they nurse and eat hay or graze alongside their mothers. Throughout the summer I carefully rotate them through this land to encourage biodiversity for their health as well as ours, and the land's.

Growing up in town, my primary experience with livestock had been the dairy heifers I showed at the county fair through a 4-H program the nearby university offered. I loved those heifers, and I cherished the time I spent working with them every summer. During college and for my first job, I shifted focuse to my ecological restoration interests, but I missed animals, and cows especially, and wondered what it would be like to actually work on a farm.

I lined up my first farm apprenticeship in 2013 on a grass-only raw milk dairy in east-central Texas, and then quickly followed with my second on a full-diet CSA farm in central New York. There I was a livestock intern, which I knew would be a challenge, to work with the animals in life and in death, assisting in slaughtering and butchering chickens, cows and pigs on-farm for our CSA members and our crew. I came to realize that, though difficult and sad, I prefer knowing the animals I eat. I prefer knowing that we’ve cared for them in the best way we can, and that in the process we’ve also cared for the land in the best way that we’re able.

Through those farm apprenticeships, I learned that it is our responsibility to care for each animal in life and in death. These domesticated animals’ lives are inextricably linked to ours. I accept the responsibility of taking an animal’s life in order for that animal’s body to nourish me and my community. I am still sad, but also grateful, recognizing the paradox that life requires death.