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


Ewe So Dirty, Jaime and Ben Cohoon

I always stop by Jaime and Ben’s stand at the farmers market, if only to put a smile on my face!  At Ewe So Dirty, Jaime and Ben raise sheep and lambs both for meat to sell at the farmers market and to make soap which are scented with the most amazing combinations of herbal and spicy bliss.  Their lambs are processed at Redwood Meats on Myrtle Avenue in Eureka.  Lotions, soaps, yarn and more can be purchased through their online store.

Jaime and I usually talk about some new food adventure — she turned me on to roasting pepperwood nuts and making a kind of truffle out of them…who would have known?…stop by the farmers market and say hello — I promise you will leave with a smile too!

Listen to the interview

Check out their website

Raising Sheep and Lambs, Leslie Silvey

Raising animals for food is a bit out of my bailiwick — and I’m always so impressed with women who have done the whole 9 yards — you know, birthing the babies, doing feedings when a mom isn’t quite up to it, and sending them off to market so we can have delicious, well-tended, local lamb on our dinner tables.  There is so much more to raising animals for food that I could ever cover in one or even two interviews, but to get a taste of what it is like for Leslie Silvey, part 1, part 2.

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

Ferndale Farms, Jill Hackett

Jill Hackett is a vivacious rancher and a generous person — I know this because she opens her ranch up to the College of the Redwoods classes.  There she demonstrates land management, stream restoration, management of both cattle and sheep herds that are hearty enough to survive the wet Humboldt winters with the help of her guard dogs.  Coyotes are no match for the large Turkish Akbash.

We had so much to talk about — well, it took 2 interviews!

Part 1

Part 2