We live in the country. Our property is surrounded by beef, dairy, macadamia, banana, deer and small crops farms. Slowly but surely these farms are dwindling in size and variety as town moves out and the career farmers move on. A local abattoir has recently closed and properties running a few pigs and cattle are now left without a nearby facility to have them slaughtered for their family meat. Their choice, now, is to pay to have them transported over a longer distance to another abattoir, hire an on-farm butcher to come and do the job on the property or not bother growing their own meat.
If I hadn’t moved to Gympie Dissection Connection would not exist. That’s no exaggeration. Gympie is in the perfect geographical position to get good quality stock, get it packaged and get it on the road – and this is where I met Mr Vivi ♥ The closure of small and medium sized abattoirs threatens our ability to source good specimens for you. You know how difficult it is to get stock out of the really big export abattoirs and that’s because they are under much more pressure to produce more meat in less time in order to remain viable as a business.
Since I started the business we have been buying almost all of our meat from local butchers and I can tell you the quality is head and shoulders above the meat I used to buy at the big supermarkets. Home smoked bacon and ham, handmade sausages, t-bones from a beast that came from a local farm that the butcher could give me directions to if I wanted to visit, duck dressed at the abattoir and cooked in my kitchen on the same day – there’s nothing quite like it. And the value for money at the butcher is incredible. We often buy a quarter of a beast or an entire pig and share it with another family. Where else are you going to get Black Angus beef t-bones or free range shoulder ham on the bone for about $6.00/kg?
When you buy specimens from Dissection Connection you are keeping countless numbers of families afloat. The meat industry supports Mr Vivi and I, the growers, the butchers, truck drivers, slaughtermen, admin staff, cleaners, electricians, plumbers, engineers and even the public servants that regulate the industry – just to name a few.
Abattoirs keep small towns alive. They provide full time employment, apprenticeships and traineeships for people that would otherwise have to move to the city. They bring people to regional towns that would otherwise not be able to grow and thrive. And they keep you in meat for the barbecue.
Every family needs a farmer. Every family. When you buy specimens from us you are are buying 100% home grown Australian produce – not specimens chemically treated and imported from America. Well done you! Now – how about going one step further and grabbing some meat from the local butcher and having a barbecue with your mates this weekend?
Australian beef growers bumper sticker on a ute I pulled up behind at the servo. The man in the background is the beef grower.
This entry was posted on March 02. 2012 by Miss Vivi
Top Tip: live sperm in the classroom
This is a guest post by Deb Barnett who was the lab tech at the first school to order live boar semen. This post puts Deb in the running to win our t-shirt competition.
The kids love it!!
It gave us a relevant and interesting resource for the unit. We even had the most disengaged student managing the microscope and getting the best view of the goings on the slide.
The sample maintained viability through the week even though the ice brick had defrosted on arrival and it was warmer than the suggested 15-20 degC in the esky. Arrival time was approx. 12.10pm Monday. I followed the recommended storage conditions throughout.
Just a few notes on how the prac was run here…. A small vial and dropping pipette (1 for each class) was placed in the incubator at 38degC until required. When the class had set up the ‘scopes and warmed their slide between their hands, I aliquoted approx 1mL into a vial and took it straight to class where the teacher kept it warm in their hand whilst walking around the lab putting 1 drop directly on the slide for each group. No “lab accidents”
So, thanks again – a good time was had by all.
Good luck with the business, you’ve certainly hit the spot with it!
This entry was posted on February 28. 2012 by Miss Vivi
Cheryl Hayashi: The magnificence of spider silk on TED
Cylon 2012 - the Huntsman spider that has decided to live in our bathroom this year
My spidey sense is really tingling this week. I had downloaded this TED podcast of Cheryl Hayashi talking about spider silk, where it comes from and all it’s amazing properties. I listened to it in the car this week and it was so good I’ve tracked down the video for you to have a look at.
Cheryl talks about dissecting an orb weaving spider, which I’ve never done. But, now that she has put the idea into my head, I’m really keen to have a go. To be honest I wouldn’t really know where to start, but if I find a dead orb weaver around the property I might see what I can do.
We’ve also had a visit from a pretty magnificent Huntsman spider in the house this week. She’s taken up residence in the bathroom near the nightlight to hunt. The photo really doesn’t do her size and hairiness justice. She’s so big I can see her two rows of shiny eyes without my glasses on – which is really saying something, believe me.
We usually get a couple of Huntsmans a year come into the house to hunt and breed. We don’t mind and we usually christen them Cylon while they are visiting, but they are very messy eaters and the carnage on the floor in the mornings is a bit much. One night Mr Vivi looked up at the living room ceiling and hundreds of tiny Huntsmans were coming out between the ceiling boards to say hello. I think he took a photo. I’ll ask him to post it here if he has it.
This entry was posted on February 10. 2012 by Miss Vivi