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There will not be any step-by-step slaughtering if Vashon's Farmstead Meatsmith raises the money it needs to make a series of instructional web videos for

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Local Butchers Want to Teach the World About Pig's Tails and Bacon

brandon-lauren.webportrait-1.JPG
There will not be any step-by-step slaughtering if Vashon's Farmstead Meatsmith raises the money it needs to make a series of instructional web videos for ambitious DIYers, producer Andrew Plotsky promises.

But Plotsky says the webisodes will cover "more attainable" topics, including cooking tails and curing bacon in the pre-industrial ways Brandon and Lauren Sheard practice at their abattoir and butchery.

Plotsky doesn't really care if viewers ultimately master the art of bacon curing; he and the Sheards are more interested in providing "exposure, experience, and inspiration." "We see those videos as part of the whole picture," says Plotsky. "A lot of what we do is easy to romanticize."

The videos will demonstrate just how difficult it is to "use very little machinery other than hands and knives." Plotsky expects some viewers will abandon their farm dreams after immersing themselves in Farmstead Meatsmith's history-drenched (and beautifully photographed) chronicles of various rural chores. "They'll see how fucking hard it is to grow food," Plotsky says.

Plotsky believes many farmers haven't successfully communicated that message, which is why he's putting together a production studio to make short documentary films about artisans involved in the current "agrarian renaissance."

"It's kind of blending two worlds a bit," he says, noting that many farmers who've embraced centuries-old techniques aren't fond of digital technology.

Plus, as Plotsky points out, "farmers don't have time to make films about themselves." The few farmers who've managed to carve out computer time typically end up with "janky-ass WordPress websites," he says.

"What I want to do is infuse this movement with social media," says Plotsky, who's turned to Kickstarter for funding.

The Farmstead Meatsmith project has collected just over $5,000 in pledges from 130 backers, or about half of its $10,000 goal. There are 26 days remaining in the funding period.

"The response has been very good," Plotsky says. "The monetary return is small compared to the number of people getting excited. This movement is huge, and it's growing."

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