On Friday we had a calf butchered. A twin that had not been accepted by its mother and hence was grown up by the bottle.
Today it came back from cooling and hanging.
I wanted to take some pictures. But when I came in from the office, there was only one hind quarter left to be broken down and parts of the calf already in the freezer.
It is easy to be a self-supporting homesteader, when your dad does most of the work.
These will give us some fine steaks
To be roast and schnitzel
The clippings go into the meat chopper
And these will make fine broth as well as them dogs damn happy
But here in Germany you must have inspected big animals like pigs ore cattle twice, even if you are home slaughtering them for your private use.
The vet has to come to your place for an alive-inspection for illness first. When he gives his OK, you can slaughter the animal and later the vet has to come again and do a meat inspection where he is checking the inner organs (liver, lungs, kidneys, heart) und the carcass for signs of illness or parasites. For pigs an additional trichina analysis is done under the microscope is done.
When all this is completed, you get your stamps and can go and butchering.
The public authorities are very severe regarding this stuff. A neighbor of mine, who started homesteading some years ago, did not know about the alive-inspection when he slaughtered his first two pigs. He then called the vet for the meat inspection (that he knew as needed).
It ended in a disaster. As the alive-inspection was missing, the two perfectly eatable pigs had to go to the rendering plant and my neighbor had to pay a penalty.
The only exception from the alive-inspection is possible is possible in case of an emergency slaughter. When waiting for a vet would cause avoidable pain for the animal. In this case the meat has to be only used for consumption.
If my neighbor hat known of this emergency-regulation and if it had not been two pigs at once or if the vet had been a more humanely person, they sure could have somehow talked out of the missing alive-inspection situation. But my neighbor told him the full story of his first slaughter and the officer played cover my ass. So to the two wonderful pigs went to waste… Germany at it´s best.
Two years ago I bought this old house some kilometers from my home. I wanted it to be my little haven of silence and am thinking about building my retirement home there.
It used to be a small sawmill until about 1930. Later the lot was used as a nursery, selling vegetable seedlings, vegetables and flowers. It even had a heated greenhouse for growing orchids.
After the gardener died, the greenhouse was knocked down und parts of the lot were sold to neighbors. Unfortunately they sold most of the mill race, too. (Else I might have been able to restore it and install a turbine.)
Then an older, introvert man bought the house and the remaining acre of land and lived a modest life there, for the last 3 decades. He seems not to have cared much about maintenance. So the house was in rather wretched condition when he sold it to me and moved away.
It is of the grid, except a telephone line (no cell reception there). Water comes from a spring and electricity is provided by some solar panels with accumulators and a generator as backup.
As I am always short of time, things failed to move forward as I had hoped.
I had to find a better solution, a new permaculture element.
As a friend of mine looked for an inexpensive place to live, we decided she should move in and help with the renovation.
(Building law does not allow me to build a new home there until I have lived in the place for a couple of years, as it belongs to the exterior zone. So we have to renovate the place to at least make it habitable for some years. )
The desired improvements accelerated and in the meantime she was able to move in with her horde of animals.
Ready for calcimining:
The composting toilet before and after renovation:
We removed the wall between sleeping room and bathroom, to make the room bigger and brighter.
I live in the Frankenwald (Franconian Forest) in the very north of Bavaria.
One of my brothers studied and worked in Hameln for some time.
Yes it was. But several parts of the building have been rebuilt over time.
There is a similar sawmill in a neighboring valley that has been restored by the local mill association as a museum.
You can see some photos of it if you scroll down on this webside:
http://www.muehlenverein-rodachtal.de/index2.html The miller’s family lived the stony part of the building, which contains the kitchen and a small bedroom. The children slept in the pitched roof area above. Looks like their business was doing well, else they would not have been able to build of stone.
The wooden part of the building contains the reciprocating saw and below it the gearing mechanism.
In my mill the family lived in the section left of the door:
The chute for the tree trunks used to be were you see the green door now.
The mill wheel, saw etc. were placed in the long wooden part of the building.
Same construction as in the other mill, just mirror inverted.
But later the sawmill part was rebuild into housing space and most of the walls exchanged by cement stones.
The cabin has seen some progress in the meantime.
Along the driveway was a row of rotten spruce stumps and behind them a row of overaged elder shrubs.
We cut these down to allow more light into the garden. We are hoping most of the elder stumps will shoot again, to give us a new, but smaller hedge as a screen and some blossom and fruit harvest.
The rotten spruce and the twigs went on a pile in the back of the garden, to create a little biotope.
Looks like a wren already made up its new home there. The elder trunks went on the firewood heap.
Nature is starting very early this year. The butterburs are breaking out of the ground.
Behind the cabin we have cleared out a lot of trees too, as we want to plant fruit trees there.
Firewood for the next couple of winters. (The pile is bigger than picture´s the perspective suggests).
The first chickenweed pancakes of the year. Harvested from the greenhouse and the hens. Chickenweed is often reckoned as an annoying weed. But it actually tastes better than most conventional salad or spinach greens.
Grandpa´s old Kramer and plow have been helpful again.
And Tanja is removing wheelbarrows full of weed roots to clear the now reanimated vegetable garden for her seeds and plants.