Episode 2: First Things, Part 1; Literature and Love

Brandon and Lauren discuss their story; how Farmstead Meatsmith was born of necessity, and how creative things usually do–from businesses to home-cured bacon.

They talk about the sensibility, or prowess, that is cultivated as a meatsmith, balancing research with experience, knowing that the best scientific knowledge is derived at with one’s own practice and observation.

Authors who have most influenced them in their journey are divulged, all British of course.  And lastly, they consider the principle that most drives them to persevere in their work, love.

Show Notes

Topics Discussed

  • Introduction: Developing the sensibilities to start this pursuit
  • 3:00 Topic 1: How to learn Meatsmith material. Learn by making mistakes (Brandon & Lauren’s experience) and by reading from great authorities. Curing is the example in this episode but the ideas apply to all our Meatsmith endeavors.
  • 8:45 Flavor vs scientific reasons for why something works. Discussion of risks, fears, and the only place botulism can possibly happen. “It’s actually not that dangerous.”
  • 15:50 Mistakes teach us and give the freedom to try.
  • 18:00 Observing productively teaches the important difference between mold, spoilage, putrefaction, pathogens, etc.
  • 22:00 Judge the value of advice by assembling your own bank of knowledge
  • 24:00 Curing is water management. Region, pig diet, policy & commodities, and seasonal change all effect the method of curing.
  • 27:15 Peasants are the authority of home curing
  • 29:15 Creativity is fostered through limitations
  • 37:00 Topic 2: Authors and books that influenced Farmstead Meatsmith: Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (The River Cottage series) is based on European tradition justified by centuries of practice.
  • 43:20 Jane Grigson’s Charcuterie and French Pork Cookery and others
  • 48:00 William Cobbett’s Cottage Economy
  • 53:24 Topic 3: Love! How we got where we are today. Authentic life doesn’t start with finding yourself. It comes from sticking to something you love.
  • 1:04:00 “Pleasure or interest wasn’t the determining factor in starting Meatsmith, nor why we continue. Necessity, both of our own and our communities, makes this life sustainable.”

Links for Episode 2

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage books and YouTube channel and films

Jane Grigson’s Charcuterie and French Pork Cookery  and others

William Cobbett’s Cottage Economy

‘The Coffinmaker’ (see film below) & Marcus Daly’s Marian Caskets

Farmsteadmeatsmith.com, our upcoming Harvest classes, and our subscription membership (opens September 20th for a limited time).

Farmrun.com is an agrarian creative studio

Shop these books below; links provided.