Ever wondered how your lamb makes its way from our place to yours? Let me paint you a picture of the journey from farm to table.
A couple of weeks ago, we had an appointment with our local abattoir for Christmas Lamb orders. Lucky for us, this place is practically in our backyard, just a short 10-minute drive. These folks do a stellar job butchering and vacuum sealing our lamb, making the whole process a breeze.
The appointment time is always bright and early at 8 am. Now, I know farmers are supposed to be up with the roosters, but I've got a little secret – I'm not much of an early bird. Don't get me wrong; when the farm demands it, I rise to the occasion. But having the abattoir close by is a blessing for a not-so-early riser like me.
The day before this adventure, I wrapped up my work as I always do before processing day – weighing and sorting out a group of lambs, all ready to go for the next morning. Fast forward to Thursday morning, and there's no need for a crack-of-dawn start. I already had the livestock trailer hooked up to the truck, ready to roll.
I woke up just before 7 and thought a morning coffee was in order before heading to the barn. Chores could wait until I got back – no rush. By 7:30, I hopped into the truck with the trailer hitched and headed up the lane to the barn, where the dog greeted me as usual. We got busy loading up the six lambs for the short trip.
It was almost 8 am when I hit the road. Two farms down, I noticed a neighbor harvesting squash. We didn't cross paths much in the farming circles, but he seemed genuinely excited to see me, offering an energetic wave. I waved back and continued on my way, making a left into the quaint village of Tupperville.
Just as I reached the next stop sign, my phone rang. It was my son, Ezdon, calling at 8 am – an unusual hour for a call. "Hey, Dad, what are you up to?" he asked. "Just taking some lambs up to Dresden," I replied. "Well, you're not gonna get too far. I got a call from the neighbor; he tried to wave you down, but you have a flat tire." Ah, that explained the big wave. I laughed, "Ok, thanks, Ez. Talk later. I'm gonna be late!"
I checked the tire on the trailer – one of four – still on the rim. It was around 8:10, and I had a decision to make. Well, let's just go for it; I needed new tires anyway, and I couldn't afford to be late with these lambs.
Into the village I went and out the other side, a thought crossed my mind. A farmer friend lived just around the next corner. I pondered stopping for some air, but it was early, and he was usually busy. As I passed his drive, there Wray was walking across the yard. I slammed on the brakes and made a quick turn into his lot.
Wray knew the deal right away, "I figured you had a bad tire." Wray, who owns a trucking company, took one look and declared my tires were indeed junk. Whether one got wrecked or not really didn't matter. We added some air for good measure, and he assured me I should be able to make the drive from there. After all, it was one turn and just a few kilometers to go.
I made it into the unloading chute at the abattoir just before 8:20, and thanks to two neighbors and my son, all was good.
Next week, we'll head back to pick up our beautifully cut frozen and packaged lamb, ready to go into our walk-in freezer here at the farm. Shortly after, we'll pack your orders and ship them out to you. From start to finish, it's all very local, and we love that!