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Photos: After Fire, Groton's Blood Farm Rebuilds

Dick Blood, the seventh generation of Bloods to run Blood Farm, stands amongst pork and beef hanging in the refrigerator waiting to be processed. (Andrea Shea/WBUR)MoreCloseclosemore
Dick Blood, the seventh generation of Bloods to run Blood Farm, stands amongst pork and beef hanging in the refrigerator waiting to be processed. (Andrea Shea/WBUR)
Tom Peyton, Blood Farm's plant manager, walks in front of the newly built processing facility in Groton. A fire in December 2013 destroyed the business that has been staffed by seven generations of Bloods (yes, that's their real name). After the fire, the community of Groton joined with the local meat industry to urge the family to rebuild one of only two USDA certified slaughterhouses in the state. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Tom Peyton, Blood Farm's plant manager, walks in front of the newly built processing facility in Groton. A fire in December 2013 destroyed the business that has been staffed by seven generations of Bloods (yes, that's their real name). After the fire, the community of Groton joined with the local meat industry to urge the family to rebuild one of only two USDA certified slaughterhouses in the state. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Dick Blood, the sixth generation of Bloods to work at Blood Farm, stands among pork and beef hanging in the refrigerator waiting to be processed. After the fire, Dick's father, Barney Blood, who at 91 still owns the farm, thought about retiring. "And you can’t believe the calls I got on the telephone, and the letters I got from customers wanting me to build up," Barney Blood said. "Some of them were sending me money!” (Andrea Shea/WBUR)
Dick Blood, the sixth generation of Bloods to work at Blood Farm, stands among pork and beef hanging in the refrigerator waiting to be processed. After the fire, Dick's father, Barney Blood, who at 91 still owns the farm, thought about retiring. "And you can’t believe the calls I got on the telephone, and the letters I got from customers wanting me to build up," Barney Blood said. "Some of them were sending me money!” (Andrea Shea/WBUR)
Smoked ham and bacon hang in a refrigeration room. Each group of products is numbered to identify which client brought the animals in for processing. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Smoked ham and bacon hang in a refrigeration room. Each group of products is numbered to identify which client brought the animals in for processing. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
The Blood Farm fire affected hundreds of small farms in the southern New England. Roger Reynolds, of Colonial Tops Farms in New Hampshire, speaks with Sharon Blood, one of the family plant managers. He stopped by to pick up some bacon he had processed at Blood Farm. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
The Blood Farm fire affected hundreds of small farms in the southern New England. Roger Reynolds, of Colonial Tops Farms in New Hampshire, speaks with Sharon Blood, one of the family plant managers. He stopped by to pick up some bacon he had processed at Blood Farm. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Meghan Mason, Dick and Sharon Blood's daughter and the seventh generation of to work on the farm, rings in a few items for Groton residents Marjorie and Clinton Wilder at the Blood Farm retail store. After the fire, elected officials, local business owners and customers from as far away as New Hampshire organized a fundraiser to subsidize the employees as they waited for Barney Blood to decide the farm's fate. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Meghan Mason, Dick and Sharon Blood's daughter and the seventh generation of to work on the farm, rings in a few items for Groton residents Marjorie and Clinton Wilder at the Blood Farm retail store. After the fire, elected officials, local business owners and customers from as far away as New Hampshire organized a fundraiser to subsidize the employees as they waited for Barney Blood to decide the farm's fate. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Brian Basili and Don Labrie process cuts of veal. Blood Farm is a small operation, with just 15 employees. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Brian Basili and Don Labrie process cuts of veal. Blood Farm is a small operation, with just 15 employees. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Basili cuts the back part of a veal to process into smaller cuts. Dairy used to be Blood Farm's main product. Now they make most of their money selling meat. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Basili cuts the back part of a veal to process into smaller cuts. Dairy used to be Blood Farm's main product. Now they make most of their money selling meat. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Jon Sutton bags up veal heads, typically used for soup stocks at restaurants. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Jon Sutton bags up veal heads, typically used for soup stocks at restaurants. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
A table full of veal inside Blood Farm's processing facility. Jay Healy, who works for the government agency that regulates slaughter and meat processing, says demand for locally-raised meat in New England has grown five-fold over the last decade, and he calls Blood Farm a critical link in the food chain. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
A table full of veal inside Blood Farm's processing facility. Jay Healy, who works for the government agency that regulates slaughter and meat processing, says demand for locally-raised meat in New England has grown five-fold over the last decade, and he calls Blood Farm a critical link in the food chain. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Kyle Northup, who works in the slaughterhouse, prepares sheep skins to be dried for sale to hide companies in the area. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Kyle Northup, who works in the slaughterhouse, prepares sheep skins to be dried for sale to hide companies in the area. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Northup salts the sheep skins to prepare them for drying. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Northup salts the sheep skins to prepare them for drying. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Barney Blood, who currently owns Blood Farm, is 91 years old and still integral to overseeing operations. Like his son Dick, Barney grew up on the farm. The flood of support from the agricultural industry and customers persuaded him to spend $700,000 of his savings to rebuild the farm after the fire. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Barney Blood, who currently owns Blood Farm, is 91 years old and still integral to overseeing operations. Like his son Dick, Barney grew up on the farm. The flood of support from the agricultural industry and customers persuaded him to spend $700,000 of his savings to rebuild the farm after the fire. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Sharon Blood, who still works on the farm but is no longer married to Dick Blood, remembers the time after the fire vividly. “Groton is kind of a ritzy little town, you know? To have them say, ‘Bring your slaughterhouse back,’ was really something. We must be doing something right!” Here she processes payroll at the main house on the farm. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Sharon Blood, who still works on the farm but is no longer married to Dick Blood, remembers the time after the fire vividly. “Groton is kind of a ritzy little town, you know? To have them say, ‘Bring your slaughterhouse back,’ was really something. We must be doing something right!” Here she processes payroll at the main house on the farm. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Gibbet Hill Cattle Company relies on Blood Farm to process its meats. Paula Cruz, who runs Gibbet Hill, says she's been doing business with the Bloods since she was 8 years old. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Gibbet Hill Cattle Company relies on Blood Farm to process its meats. Paula Cruz, who runs Gibbet Hill, says she's been doing business with the Bloods since she was 8 years old. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Farmhand Zoe Stapp grabs as much hay as she can hold to feed to the cows in the Gibbet Hill barn. After the fire, they had to bring their animals to the only other commercial slaughterhouse in Massachusetts, more than an hour away. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Farmhand Zoe Stapp grabs as much hay as she can hold to feed to the cows in the Gibbet Hill barn. After the fire, they had to bring their animals to the only other commercial slaughterhouse in Massachusetts, more than an hour away. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Stapp hurls a pitchfork full of hay into the pen for the cows to eat. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Stapp hurls a pitchfork full of hay into the pen for the cows to eat. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Gibbet Hill cows feeding on corn feed. Cruz, who runs Gibbet Hill, says short travel time from the farm to the slaughterhouse reduces stress on the animals and helps prevent a surge of fear hormones that can affect the meat's taste and texture. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Gibbet Hill cows feeding on corn feed. Cruz, who runs Gibbet Hill, says short travel time from the farm to the slaughterhouse reduces stress on the animals and helps prevent a surge of fear hormones that can affect the meat's taste and texture. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Frank Clark is in charge of raising the livestock at Gibbet Hill Cattle Company. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Frank Clark is in charge of raising the livestock at Gibbet Hill Cattle Company. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Cows follow Clark while he is carrying in a bale of hay. Clark says after the fire Barney Blood was beside himself. "There was a short period of time as to whether or not they would actually rebuild, and when Barney decided he was going to he got that spark back." (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Cows follow Clark while he is carrying in a bale of hay. Clark says after the fire Barney Blood was beside himself. "There was a short period of time as to whether or not they would actually rebuild, and when Barney decided he was going to he got that spark back." (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Jesse Costa Twitter Photographer, Multimedia Producer
Jesse Costa is the multimedia producer for WBUR.

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