18: Farmstead Meatsmith – Brandon Sheard


Show Host: C S Wurzberger, The Green Up Girl

Guest: Brandon Sheard, Farmstead Meatsmith

Family PortraitFarmstead Meatsmith is a personal abattoir, butchery and charcuterie services for small farms and homesteads in the Puget Sound region. The owner Brandon Sheard and his wife Lauren offer hands-on classes in traditional and heritage breed livestock harvesting from slaughter and butchery to charcuterie and cooking. Their focus is to ensure that no part of the animal is wasted. Their small, family-run business also sells films, e-chapters, booklets, and other instructional tools on the art of homestead harvesting.

I have attached an excerpt from the Pig Slaughter chapter we sell on our website.  It briefly summarizes our approach and most people find that it is in not inimical but first affirming of personal aversions to animal slaughter.  The opposite mindset to harvesting animals is not refusing to eat them, but killing them wantonly.  Those who abstain have more in common with the mindful slaughterman.  Indeed, I have had many vegetarians in my classes.  My first apprentice was vegetarian.

As more fodder for mindful slaughter, I would recommend Episode 2 on the anatomyofthrift.com.


Brandon Sheard came into traditional slaughter, butchery and curing right after finishing his graduate work in Renaissance English Literature. After marrying Lauren, he quit his job at Whole Foods in the supplement department and started work on a small, multi-species and pasture-based farm in the Pacific Northwest. After two years of working on the farm and managing the butcher shop, Brandon left and started Farmstead Meatsmith with Lauren. Largely self-taught in the art of traditional animal harvesting, Brandon and Lauren continue to provide the services of livestock processing and classes through Farmstead Meatsmith with a little help from 5 year-old Wallace, 3 year-old John Luke, 1 year-old Simon and newborn meatsmith, Mary.

As a small, family-run business, they sell films, e-chapters, booklets, and other instructional tools on the art of homestead harvesting through their website, FarmsteadMeatsmith.com. They’ll also be starting a destination farm harvesting school in 2015 on their own homestead for folks all over the country to come to. You can keep up with their growth by signing up for their occasional email newsletter. Their home and business is on Vashon Island, Washington.



Here are the links