Green is a word that used to mean a color. Now it’s a movement. Everyone is “Going Green” to save the environment. As a homesteader you have to be frugal with what you have. No one wants to spend more for things than they have to. A lot of people are blind to the fact that there are tons of chemicals and additives in the food they are eating. They can make plastic taste like anything, so what are they doing with our food?? Why is it that pre-sliced cheese can have an expiration date of a year from now? Why is it that when you go to Mc D’s, a chicken nugget falls onto the floor of the car, is it still good two years later??
Real Food costs a lot of money. You definitely want to get every dime out of your effort to live healthy. This brings me to the actual subject of the blog. What can you do with an animal to use as much as you can? Well it depends on the animal but for the most part you can use the meat, bones, hide, and innards and that pretty much uses all the animal up. I am a big supporter of internet. I believe it connects all of us together in a way that otherwise wouldn’t be possible. This place is where ideas are born, nurtured, and improved upon. Research research research what to do with what you have.
Here are some possibilities for what to do with an animal.
Hide– Most animals have to be skinned to eat. Learn to cure that hide! Hide can either become leather to make clothing with or you can keep the fur on for rugs, blankets, slippers, pillows. That was/is my goal for this last year and this coming year, curing hides. Try doing it the natural way first instead of chemicals. Cow hide is huge and can be used for many things. Even pig skin can be used. It takes some work but it’s worth it for someone who just bought an $800+ cow.
Meat and innards and fat– a given, bacon, chops, hamburger,ribs.. just about anything you can think of. Don’t forget the meat on the cheeks of the face. Use all the meat somehow. Take the brain of the animal and keep it for brain tanning the hide, use the tongue and heart and pressure cook it. It makes great meat even though some of you just barfed in the corner. 😯 I think cow tongue is the most tender, most delicious part of the cow honestly. If you eat liver, save that too. The rest of the innards can be used as bait to catch other animals. Take the fat of the animals and you can make lard, tallow, or other healthy fats. Full fat from grassfed animals is healthy despite what the government says.
Bones- Take the bones of the body and cut them up so you can make broth out of them. What little meat is on them braise in an oven and start crockin it over night in water, 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar, and some veggie scraps, to make broth. Then can the broth. Freeze them if you don’t have enough room to do all the bones at one time.
Extremities- Save those parts too and use as far down as you can with the bones for broth.
Once you are done with everything, then take all that is left. The innards, the broth bones, the feet, the head..all of it. Burn it in a nice hot fire. Once you are done take those ashes and sprinkle them over the garden. Those bones are still plenty full of calcium and with the wood they have a lot of other nutrients your garden needs.
It is my hope that one day you will be sitting all wrapped up in your hide blanket, sipping some homemade broth, watching your garden grow big and strong, and smiling because you know not one ounce of your precious animal went to waste.
Happy Homesteading!! 😀