The Happy Butchers — Sarah Godlin and Bridget Winkler

I know this is a tough one for some people — the thought of butchering an animal.  I finally got up close and personal with this topic while taking a class in farming at College of the Redwoods.  You know the drill — I eat meat — therefore I have a responsibility to see that it is humanely treated — even through the step where the animal is killed.  And then — I have the responsibility to see that the meat from the animal is treated with respect — that we are using as much of the animal as possible, and that the animal is appreciated for giving us sustenance.  Really — that is the story for many local people who have been vegan and vegetarian until they could find a way to make that happen.  And — that is the story for The Happy Butchers, Sarah Godlin and Bridget Winkler.

Now — this hasn’t historically been a job for women, right?  Well…actually women have been very involved in killing and butchering meat on the farm.  It has only been in the last couple of generations that killing and butchering animals has been done on a large scale in factories by people who have the thankless job of killing and butchering all day in terrible and dangerous working conditions.

And, one of the many interesting things about Sarah and Bridget, is that not only will they come to your home and do these things for you — but they will teach you how to do it yourself.  And — according to Bridget, it is usually the women who would like to learn the skill.

Listen here to the interview. If you’d like to get a hold of Sarah and Bridget…contact The Happy Butchers at or call Sarah at (707) 502-6368 or Bridget at (707) 845-3797

Happy Butchers Card

Daryl Coldren, Fine Feather Ranch

I’m sure any farmer or rancher would say that they prefer flat land — heaven knows I’ve discovered that gardening at home on the side of the hill is threatening to make one leg longer than the other, and I curse the sloped property on which we built our home on a daily basis.  This is why I was surprised to discover that Daryl Coldren of Fine Feather Ranch is my neighbor.

High atop Humboldt Hill, in fact I think it is the very last address on Humboldt Hill Road, lies Fine Feather Ranch and a flock of chickens that are busy laying eggs that travel to the farmers market and end up on many breakfast plates throughout the county.  Daryl is raising his chickens organically and expects to have a batch of meat chickens winding their way through the mobile poultry processing system soon, so keep an eye out.  Whether these chickens have one leg longer than the other will be something we can find out as we prep the chicken for roasting 😉  To reach Daryl you can call (707) 407-0793 or email at

Listen to the interview here

Tony Herrera, California Dept. of Agriculture

I am the Eggman, I am the Walrus, kukukeju — yes, after interviewing Tony Herrera, I was singing this song — because Tony is truly the eggman for the California Dept. of Ag — and knows all the ins and outs of what you need to do to be able to sell your eggs.  Do you know what a Julian date is?…well, listen and find out.  There is more to an egg than meets the eye, and I’m not yolking (I had to…sorry!)

Chicken Harvest, Rhonda Wiedenbeck

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A couple of my friends are part of, what I call, a Chicken Cooperative.  They call themselves the Blue Lake Farm Wives and Mens’ Auxilliary.  Lin recently asked (ok, after I repeatedly begged) if I would like to come to one of their harvest days.  Later I asked Rhonda if she would come in to the station so I could interview her about the arrangement, to listen click here.

Ralph Smith, North Coast Co-op Meat Department

Ralph Smith is the Head of the Meat Dept at the North Coast Co-op — you know what they say about getting to know your butcher, that’s the way to get the best cuts of meat.  Ralph and I talked about how to develop that relationship and the types of things you can ask a butcher to do for you…to listen…click here

Huckleberry Farms, Kathy McDonald

If you go to the Arcata Saturday Farmers Market — then you know Kathy McDonald.  She sells chicken eggs from her white van, but chicken eggs are not unusual at the market… she also has these tiny beautiful quail eggs in miniature packages…I’m sure they would be on the menu for hobbits and fairies…but what about real full-sized people?  According to Kathy, many restaurants are starting to use her eggs — sushi at Tomo, or imagine little splashes of egg on a pizza at Folie Douce…she told us she tried a pizza of her own — bacon and egg…with those tiny little quail eggs (now aren’t you wondering where we could find miniature bacon to go with that?)

To hear an interview with Kathy — click here!

Pizza Crust — this is a very simple recipe, I like it because it is fast, easy — and uses herbs right in the dough for more powerful flavor.  The recipe is actually called focaccia bread and is from

2 3/4 cup flour; 1 tsp salt; 1 tsp white sugar; 1 Tbl yeast; 1 tsp garlic powder; 1 tsp dried oregano; 1 tsp dried thyme; 1/2 tsp dried basil; 1 pinch black pepper, stir together — then mix in 1 cup water and 2 Tbl olive oil.  Knead, either with dough hook or by hand.Let raise 20 min.

Bacon and Egg Pizza!

Pizza with egg #1...just 9 more to go!

I use a paste of pesto spread on the dough and also tomato paste is good — then moz cheese — and bacon and little bitty quail eggs! I bake at 500 degrees F on a pizza stone — this makes 2 pizzas — and only bakes for 10-15 min. (keep an eye on them!)

BTW those little strips of green are bell peppers…not my idea but they weren’t bad in there with all that bacon and eggs…

Factoids about Kathy’s Quail — did you know they only take 17 days to hatch once the eggs are laid (we are hoping for some baby quail photos soon…can you imagine how cute they are?!) and they begin to lay eggs of their own in only 7 weeks from hatching out.

Factoids about quail eggs:

Quail egg nutrition is 3-4 times greater than chicken eggs.  Protein is higher; vitamin B is higher, iron and potassium is higher — twice as much vitamin A and B2.  Quail eggs have cholesterol, but it is HDL…the “good kind” — and are known to be brain power foods.

And what about the libido — quail eggs are said to enhance the libido and improve sexual health — good for the skin and hair too.  Is there anything this little egg can’t do?

Pizza Update — the Bacon and Egg pizza was fabulous — I highly recommend it –the only part that proved challenging was cracking the tiny eggs…we finally figured out that cracking them on the edge of a butter knife worked best.  The tiny eggs are so beautiful and the pizza was a gourmet treat.  Thank you Kathy, we loved our pizza!

If you are looking for Huckleberry Farm quail eggs, check out Wildberries, Eureka Natural Foods and Co-op in both Arcata and Eureka.  Kathy will be at the Arcata Farmers Market on Saturdays too.  Stop by and say hi to her…and pick up some of those eggs!

Organic Matters Farm

Johnny Gary with Organic Matters reviewed some insight into the world of pastured pork – listen here!

Johnny Gary and Heather Plaza are the owners of Organic Matters Farm — you may remember them from their previous farm – G Farm.  Organic Matters is located in the Humboldt Bay Region near Indianola — to hear an interview with Johnny and Heather, click here.

To reach Organic Matters Farm

John Gary and Heather Plaza
6743 Myrtle Ave
Eureka, CA, 95503
(707) 407-FARM


Shakefork Farm – Chickens

FullSizeRender(6)Melanie and Kevin Cunningham from Shakefork Farm CSA are know for producing grains in Humboldt County.  They recently began a new venture, raising “meat” chickens for sale to the public.  To hear about this new venture and to find out how they are raising these chickens listen to this interview

Happy chickens race forward every morning to be the first ones on the new grass

Chicken’s eye view of the tractor

Chickens have access to all the fresh grass and unsuspecting bugs with each move — along with ability to feed on organic feed at any time

Sarah Brunner — Mobile Poultry Processing Facility

Sarah Brunner and one of her flock

The Mobile Poultry Processing Facility (AKA The Abbitoirre, french for Slaughterhouse) is the result of years of hard work by Sarah Brunner, owner of Wild Chick Farm. 

The Abbatoir - Mobile Processing Facility

To listen to the interview with Sarah Brunner click here.  In the meantime, for more information about the MPPF, go to or email the Humboldt Poultry Cooperative at

Sarah moving the Chicken Tractor

The Poultry Cooperative consists of several poultry and rabbit producers including Melanie and Kevin from Shakefork Farm; Ash and Dave from Buck and Daisy; and Sarah Brunner from Wild Chick Farm.

And don't forget the turkeys!

For those who are raising small flocks of chickens (processing 10-15 at a time) the Poultry Cooperative is working on a small scale processing structure that will be pulled by a small flatbed truck — stay tuned for more information on that project as it develops.

Humboldt Poultry Collaborative in the Abbattoir