Last Sunday was going to happen one way or another; processing day here on Happy Earth Farm. It is not the most pleasant of tasks so we try to make the best of it. I hope this doesn’t sound too callous, but butchering day takes on a party-like atmosphere when the gang shows up. We processed on Sunday, but the “interns” began arriving on Saturday evening. I’d like to think that the two young women, Luann and Katie, arrived Saturday evening because they wanted to be fresh and clear-headed the following morning, but I know it was really to sip on Steve’s incredibly delicious and powerful margaritas, while we listened to music and gossiped at the dinner table. Is it okay to have that much fun the night before? Yes, yes it is.
Sunday began bright and early with a farm breakfast featuring fresh eggs and cherry tomatoes. I wondered out loud when my daughter, Lydia and her boyfriend, Jay would be arriving. Luann informed me that they left Charleston at 5:30 A.M. because they didn’t want to “miss any of the fun”. No one saw irony in that statement, but come on, that is funny, right!? Perhaps we are just a twisted bunch.
With the gang all here we started the morning with the traditional “kill day selfie” before putting on the correct playlist because some things are just that sacred. I have found that in these situations it is best to go with a heavy dose of humor to make it through the task at hand, so we refer to this day as the chickens “spa day”. They start with a fun ride in the RTV, then get a neck massage, followed by a soak in the Jacuzzi tub, full body massage and grooming before settling into an invigorating ice bath. J
Steve and I are a constant in our roles, so it always interesting to see how everyone else fits into the butchering rhythm. I proudly present to you the 2K15 summer interns.
Luann: she slices and dices. Put a naked chicken in front of her station and that baby will be eviscerated with flawless care and precision. Her humor is dark, but always delivered with a twinkle in her eye so I do not fear her wielding a very sharp knife.
Lydia: she is a true competitor. I spent half of my time telling her to stop trying to beat Steve’s record time at the eviscerating table. “There are no good doctors at the ER on Sundays”, I said over and over again; she did not listen, but left with all of her digits.
Jay: he tried it all, but settled into the role of Dr. Death. He is a very tall man with massive hands. He can scoop up two “volunteers” with one of his big mitts and have them upside down in the silver cones of death is a single motion. My biggest concern? He seemed a little too comfortable slitting those throats……….
Katie: She managed everything not associated with killing. She filled ice buckets, cleaned up errant feathers and packed up the cleaned birds. I knew she had a soft heart from the moment she began the morning. As she bounced along in the back of the RTV riding beside the first to be butchered, she looked at them lovingly and said in the most perfect school teacher voice, “How is everyone doing?! Big day today!” No knives for you sweet Katie.