f/k/a . . . the archives

May 22, 2008

one lamb’s life: farm to market

Filed under: Schenectady Synecdoche — David Giacalone @ 9:14 am

. . . Lamb No. 2735: birth to burger . . .

There’s a fascinating special story in today’s Albany [NY] Times Union. Written by restaurant critic Steve Barnes, “Farm to market: A lamb’s short life, from country meadow to dinner table” (May 22, 2008) tells the life story of Lamb No. 2735, who was born June 6, 2007. In an interview this morning with radio host Don Weeks, at 810WGY, Steve said he felt that omnivores have a moral obligation to understand where their meat comes from. He stressed that Lamb No. 2735 had as idyllic a life and death as can be expected in this country. There is an online photo gallery, and a separate article about the slaughtering process, which in this instance “strives to be humane.”

Today, at Steve’s Table Hopping weblog, he says:

Times Union photographer Luanne Ferris and I spent 11 months following a lamb from Elihu Farm in Easton, Washington County. We were there the day he was born (when farm owner Mary Pratt was holding him at right), then periodically checked in for almost a year. We watched him grow, followed him to the slaughterhouse, witnessed the butchering, took photos when one of his legs became the centerpiece of a family’s Passover meal, and I ate a spectacular tasting menu featuring the lamb at J.T. Baker’s New Cuisine in Greenwich, which regularly buys Elihu lamb.

On his 9-month birthday, No. 2735 weighed about 120 pounds and was ready to go to market in time for the high demand around Easter and Passover. Barnes notes that he was “still just a pip compared to his father, Max” and explains that Elihu Farm “names its few mature rams, but its hundreds of ewes and lambs must be kept track of by number.”

I learned a lot about the life, death and marketing of lamb from this story. I eat very little red meat, but agree with Steve Barnes that omnivores need to understand how meat gets to their table.

mountain wind
the stillness of a lamb
gathering crows

clearing mist
the white legs
of lambs and goths

winter mountains
the whiteness of water
beside the ewes

…………………………………….. by Matt Morden
“mountain wind” – New Resonance 2
clearing mist” & “winter mountains” – Morden Haiku

late spring walk
flattened grass
where the ewe was sheared

……… by paul m. from called home (Red Moon Press 2006)

cloudless sky
the baaing
of penned sheep

………………. by Carolyn Hall
- The Heron’s Nest (Valentine Award 2005, Special Mention)

2 Comments

  1. Lambs have at least a small mysterious story to be told of in each region of the world. It is good learn of what other regions hold concerning lambs.These may be the same, related or completely different.The true is there is something to be told of them all over.

    [Ed. Note: Despite appreciating the substance of this comment, I've removed the URL, because it looks suspiciously like more SEO comment-spam.]

    Comment by John — May 27, 2008 @ 6:41 am

  2. ” cloudless sky
    the baaing
    of penned sheep”

    Is my favorite :)

    Comment by Wu-yi — June 4, 2008 @ 11:27 pm

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