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How to Butcher at Home w/ Grant Adkisson

December 2, 2023 @ 9:00 am 4:30 pm

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How to Butcher at Home Details

Learn how to butcher large animals at your own home or farmstead! Utilizing simple tools and techniques, instructor Grant Adkisson will guide participants in a hands-on experience butchering a whole hog raised on his farm.  Home butchering is an empowering skill that ensures every ounce of an animal goes to good use, is a cost effective way to ensure access to high quality meat, and builds deeper relationships with what nourishes you.

In this workshop, participants will:

  • Get oriented to the tools and techniques used to safely take a pig, deer, goat, lamb, or even cow from the field to the freezer
  • We will discuss safety, sanitary practices, knife/saw techniques and how to safely handle our harvest at home
  • Discuss the basics of humane unlifing methods, site and planning. (NOTE: we will NOT be unlifing during class)
  • Discuss scraping, scalding, and skinning of the animal
  • Break down a whole hog into “primals,” then final cuts to be cured, ground, cooked, or frozen for later use
  • Learn basic butcher cuts, including how to make chops, ribs, roasts, and how to properly wrap for freezer storage
  • Orient to the basic methods of meat preservation like salting, canning, freezing and smoking and the basic principles of charcuterie.
  • Discuss ideal weather and time of year for processing and inexpensive work methods to ensure your harvest is successful even if the temps are high
  • Discuss the uses of by-products like leaf lard, back fat, ham hock, fried pig skin (chicharone), as well as how to make use of the offal (organs) for other applications

Please note:  Because this class is focused on home butchering (rather than commercial), and in compliance with NC regulations regarding animal processing, all meat will remain at the instructor’s farm at the end of the day.  Information will be shared in the class about acquiring high-quality meat from local resources.

Time & Location

This class will be held both outdoors and indoors on Saturday December 2, 2023 from 9am – 4:30pm in Mars Hill, NC.

This class is for good for all skill levels, but will be especially useful for anyone interested in harvesting their own animals and processing them. Minimum age is 12 with adult. Bring a bagged lunch and wear layers in case it’s chilly outside.

About the Instructor: Grant Adkisson (he/him)

Grant Adkisson (he/him) has been working with Earthskills events and schools for almost 13 years as staff or instructor and has a broad background including Livestock Farming, Organic Gardening, Charcuterie, Cooking, Hunting, Fishing, Archery, Wild Crafting, Blacksmithing, Martial Arts, Wilderness Medicine, Body Work, Mead Making and a host of other skills and interests.  Grant is inspired by helping others to gain new skills and capabilities and strives to be a better craftsman and teacher in the process. You really don’t know a subject until you can effectively answer tough questions from a student about it! Grant has been hunting and processing deer and small game for 16 years and raising his own sheep, goats, pigs and cows for the last 5-6 years. Grant has harvested and butchered many dozens of large animals for himself and other farmers/hunters and has become highly skilled in the process.

Equitable Pricing Model $140 – $50

In order to make our workshops more accessible, we offer two price options for each class, with an additional Equity Discount for qualifying individuals. Please consider these options and select your price at checkout.

  • Sponsor Price $140: For those who have enough to share, thank you for being a Sponsor. This is an opportunity to contribute towards the cost of the class for someone else.
  • Standard Price $95: The Standard reflects one person’s share of what it costs to produce the class and cover basic expenses.
  • Equity Discount $50: We offer an additional Equity Discount for those from the following communities who support reparations and/or an equitable redistribution of wealth and would not have access to this workshop without this discount:

Thank you for helping transform the world into a culture of abundance, resilience, and opportunity for all.

Which Price Option is Right for You?*

*Please check your pricing options before you register for your first Perennial Workshop. The pricing options are the same for all events, so you only need to do it once!

Registration closes Friday December 1.


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Mars Hill, North Carolina 28754 United States + Google Map

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Lily Harlin


Lily is an artist, creator, and dreamer. Since a very young age, she has been immersed in the natural world and draws heavy inspiration from the wild. Though her medium changes frequently, Lily’s art and expression always incorporate an element of the organic and unpredictable. She got her associate in fine arts in 2023, and now volunteers at her school as a ceramic studio monitor. She hopes to open a studio of her own one day to have a place to teach and inspire others. In addition to doing commission work, Lily has been creating many graphics for The Firefly Gathering since 2019. Lily grew up in the Earthskills community from the time she was eight years old, so having the opportunity to grow and give back in so many ways has been incredibly fulfilling. No matter where she ends up, this group of people and ideas will always hold a special place in her heart.