Clawhammer Farm

My lengthiest stay this summer was at Clawhammer Farm, a lovely piece of land that runs longways from the top of a hill into a swampy valley. The farm raises pigs, sheep, chickens, rabbits, a milk cow, and a few goats.  All the animals are antibiotic and hormone-free.

clawhammer farm field pasture  lisle new york barn The barn at right, and the house up the hill.

 

Upon my arrival I was greeted by a curious scene–not at all what I envisioned would be my “life on the farm” for the next couple weeks. Nick, one of the farmer duo, cooked Pad Thai in the kitchen while watching TV on a giant screen. Becky, the other half of the duo, and the farmhands drank beers and laughed at one thing or another: the farm dog Dart, or whatever silly show was on TV, or Nick’s hilarious outbursts from the kitchen. Clawhammer was clearly a departure from the farms I typically visit, which are owned and worked mostly by middle- and old-aged men in Alabama.

clawhammer farm field pasture  lisle new york pig piglet Tiny baby piglets get some rest under a heat lamp in the barn.

The next day, I was given a tour of the farm by my friend from New Orleans, Eric the woodworker. He introduced me to the nursing piglets and their giant mothers, the bunnies, the chickens, the ”grower” pigs (them’s for eating), the flock of sheep… and Beulah. Beulah’s the milk cow, and I’ll admit that I am a little obsessed with her now.

clawhammer farm field pasture  lisle new york cow milk beulah Beulah, the overly affectionate cow, just before galloping over and sticking her head straight into my stomach to nuzzle me. (Which, since she’s a cow, meant holding tight so I wouldn’t fall over. Cow nuzzles are no joke.)

 

For a few years I ran the Homegrown Alabama Farmers Market in Tuscaloosa, so over the years I’ve visited quite a few farms. I’ve never worked on one though, and had never been to a farm that mainly produces meat. Animal farming seems to consist of much less time in the field than vegetable farming does. There is, however, plenty of work to be done. After finishing work some days, I’d take my camera out and hang out with the farm animals. Consider the photos that follow as your personal tour of the farm, as we travel from the swampy bottom to the hilltop:

On any given day, you’ll find beulah and the sheep grazing somewhere in here…

clawhammer farm field pasture  lisle new york

clawhammer farm field pasture  lisle new york sheep hair wool

clawhammer farm field pasture  lisle new york milk cow beulah

clawhammer farm field pasture lisle new york pig piglet Piglets experiencing their first day outside the barn and without their mamma. Right now they’re trying to hide… they’re thinking… if we can’t see you, you won’t be able to see us! Duh! Though they’re cute now, these “growers” will eventually be slaughtered for meat. When there’s a pig roast at the farm, as there was during my stay, that process begins in the pasture.

clawhammer farm field pasture lisle new york knife blood gun

andreamabry_for_clawhammer-8588 Big pigs.

 

clawhammer farm field pasture  lisle new york chicken Chickens hanging out in their chicken tractor. clawhammer farm field pasture lisle new york cow dog sheep Beulah and sheep wonder what the heck this little furball is doing in their pasture.

clawhammer farm field pasture  lisle new york farmer

clawhammer farm field pasture  lisle new york sheep

clawhammer farm field pasture  lisle new york sheep barn BAAAAAAH! clawhammer farm field pasture lisle new york people farmer pig roast dog Farmer Nick talks with Dart while the pig roasts. As we prepare to eat pig, inside the barn there are piglets eating.

clawhammer farm field lisle new york pig piglet suckling

clawhammer farm field pasture lisle new york dog german shorthaired pointer dart Another picture of Dart, for good measure.

clawhammer farm field pasture lisle new york pig piglet suckling

clawhammer farm field pasture lisle new york refrigerator truck graffiti If you ever see this refrigerator truck in NYC, Clawhammer Farm’s making deliveries! clawhammer farm field pasture lisle new york road The farm is divided by a road, which turns out to be quite handy. Looking this direction, the barn is to the right and the house sits on the left. clawhammer farm field pasture  lisle new york farm house dog Dart rests inside the house during the heat of the day. clawhammer farm field pasture  lisle new york garden This sizable garden provides many of the herbs and vegetables that feed hungry farmhands. clawhammer farm field pasture  lisle new york garden cat cabbage Colors the cat takes a moment to rest in the cabbage patch.

clawhammer farm field pasture  lisle new york garden cabbage

My next post will show the process of slaughtering and butchering (and eating) a pig. It's not for the faint of heart, but seeing the slaughter gave me new perspective on being a meat eater. My next post shows the process of slaughtering and butchering (and eating!) a pig. It’s not for the faint of heart, but seeing the slaughter gave me new perspective on being a meat eater. Check it out here.

I hope you enjoyed the tour!

 

Clawhammer Farm delivers a meat CSA to Brooklyn, and supplies various restaurants in NYC with fresh, happy pork. You can also slaughter your own pig on the farm! www.clawhammerfarm.com

3 comments

  1. Pingback: A Pig With a Purpose | Outside Andrea

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