Monday, February 21, 2011

Hunk of Meat Monday: Butchering Time

 There is a lot of history in the GriggsDakota attic. On one of my digs I discovered a box that contained a newspaper clipping of this poem. It was written by Edith Davis Rowe whose family pioneered in Aurora County of South Dakota. Since it was under the heading of Dakota Memories and judging the time of other items I found it with, I think it was published during the thirties, but I am not certain.
This interesting tidbit was clipped and saved with the poetry and I thought about dating the clipping with this fact. However, facts were usually gleaned from books and books were published infrequently which means the dates might not correspond correctly.
Butchering Time

by Edith Davis Rowe

When the harvest time was over 
And the grain was in the bin,
When the hay was cut for winter 
And the veg'tables were in,
When the shelves were filled with jelly
And the corn and pumpkin dried,
There must yet be meat for winter
Which the farmer must provide.

So they knew 'twas time to butcher,
For the weather then was cold,
And the meat they thus provided
Could be smoked or could be sold.
What a treat was fresh fried liver
Or a kettle full of stew,
With the meat so appetizing 
And the soup it gave us too.

Then there came the work of evenings
With the fat to cut for lard
And the meat to grind for sausage--
These were tasks that seemed so hard;
But the fried cakes and the sausage,
Mince for pies and crackling bread,
Kept us happy, hale and hearty
Out there on the old homestead.
Although the butchering process has been taken off the farm, there is still a need for meat in a healthy diet, "which the farmer must provide."


  1. In Indiana, it is almost past butchering time. I don't know if we have a week of hard overnight freezes left for us to butcher on the farm. Great post.

  2. My grandparents have told me stories about butchering their own hogs, cattle and chickens. I have helped butcher chickens but nothing else, and can safely say i am thankful for processing plants.

  3. I loved reading this poem Mom. Thanks for joining Hunk of Meat Monday! Next week we'll get you to post the logo and link up. Fun!