Wednesday 3 February 2010

Ben's essay

My day at Chestnut Meats......

Me (Ben Seels) and Lucy Peacock got the offer of coming down to Chestnut Meats and helping out with a mornings work. I great fully accepted the offer and made the trip down for a 9 am start..

Alongside Tim, Marnie, and Sarah, ( the usual crew), we started off by feeding the goats on the main farm, which was an experience as the goats don't tend to queue up for their food, no they would much rather mug it off you. But with strong determination we got on with the job without saying a word.

After we had fed the goats and made sure they had plenty of clean water, we hopped on our bikes and went up the road to feed the larger shed of goats. This shed is inhabited by around 170 goats, compared to the pen of around 20 we just fed this task was way more daunting. Tim though been the sympathetic man he is was going to wait till all the goats were out of the shed before we fed them, but then me being the outspoken individual put my foot in it by saying, 'oh I'm sure we would be fine', to which Tim responded, 'OK then, lets see!'. Straight away I tried to apologise to Lucy for the misfortune I had placed us both in. We hopped over the gate buckets in hand immediately met with 170 hungry goats, but we pushed through as if wading through a small pond shuffling along until we had filled the troughs. Half way through doing so I was met with the experience of a goat putting its head through my legs then half way through decided it wanted to go back, this goat had two nice horns on its head so this turned out to be a good learning curve for me!

Then we went on to bedding the goats up with some hay, this was seemingly trouble free as the goats were all busy chomping away at the whole grain barley we had just given to them. Typically Sarah and Lucy paired up scattering one bale while I was left with the other. They did come and help me in the end though so I suppose I will let them off. I soon repaid the favour though by letting Lucy throw all the hay out into the feeders.

Then after all this excitement it was time to take up the art of Butchery. Mincing the pork shoulder, then going on to prepare the mince into sausage meat by adding the additive. This definitely took me back to the days of baking with my mum as a youngster, getting stuck in with your hands. Then we put all this mixture into the sausage making machine, this proved to be an art that needs to be well practised but both me and Lucy faired quit well I think. Then came the part in enjoyed the most of making this seemingly mile long sausage into loads of baby sausages. I would like to say I soon mastered this art after a shaky start. Then me and Luce the goose (giving her a nickname, as we are now best buds!) worked as a team packaging all our sausages up into a tip top professional appearance.

Afterwards we took the last bag of sausages and gave them to Marnie as she was going to cook them for our lunch. The sausages went splendidly with Marnie's home made loaf of bread, and we all had a good natter and a pleasant lunch.

Marnie and Tim asked me to think up of a new product for them, after a lot of though I think it would be a good idea to sell pork and goat sausages together, I know not really a new product but I think this would be a good way to encourage people to try goat meat. Also they would find it easy to compare it with pork if they were packaged together. I did this when Tim gave me some sausages after the first interview and I think it worked very well to be able to compare the tastes from a bite of each. You could also apply this with other products like burgers for example.

I would like to thank Tim, Marnie and Sarah got the time they have given me, and an enjoyable day.

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