Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

When the Big Man was doing some work on the house a few weeks ago, he uncovered the original wood foundation of the house.

There were several sets of initials carved into the wood, as well as a date: "1864."

After the age of probably seven, I have never really believed in ghosts.  However, there is something about October that always gives me pause.  Maybe it's the rustling of dry leaves amid the sudden darkness of evening, the strangely personal feel of a gust of wind whipping out of nowhere to lift up a scarf, that rush of adrenaline when one is outside, alone, in the dark, walking towards the lit windows of home, that rush that urgently whispers that something will snatch you before you make it. 

Found in the field
Since moving to the farm, the creepiness of the season is far more apparent.  Predators who have spent all summer deep in the woods creep back to nibble at the edges of civilization.  We've had several chickens go missing in a puff of feathers  and drops of blood (leading to the abandonment of the chicken coop by the Bernie and his Coop Hens...but that's another story).  Coyotes have been making their strange nighttime warbles more often.  For some reason, the more unsavory leftovers from last month's butchering will not remain covered in the barn compost pile.  The barn cats seem on high alert, perching themselves on top of the milk parlor roof and in the empty window of the abandoned hand house at dusk every night.  Not to mention the cornfields, empty forests, and small unkempt cemeteries in nearly every square mile that completely surround us.  All the trappings for a horror story.

Then, of course, I have been reading and watching some creepy seasonal fare, and imaginations are bigger, louder, and less polite in the country.  It is hard to believe sometimes that the young city couple in the 150-year-old farmhouse aren't going to be featured in a ghost story told by wriggling ten-year-olds around a campfire in 2050.

Red piglet knows something you don't know...

So far, of course, the initial carvers have not bothered us.  But we will take special care to tread lightly on their floors in the hopes of keeping restful spirits at rest.

Because you just know that in 1864 people did not leave their homes to die, or their properties to be buried...

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Thanksgiving Turkeys For Sale!!

Inquisitive Turkey

So, with thanksgiving near we wanted to inform you, our faithful readers, of the details on our turkeys. We've been raising a batch of Broad Breasted Bronze Turkeys since the beginning of July in the same tractors/pens we use for chickens. These birds are very similar to the industry standard breed, the Broad Breasted White, but we chose the brown birds due to their more natural appearance (most fowl raised for eating are white so that the consumer won't notice stray feathers that weren't caught by the plucker.) They're not fed any antibiotics and are moved daily so they can eat as much grass as they can stand.

Fancy Bird Housing

We do have a target weight (15-20# hens and 20-25# toms) for these turkeys but we're not sure when we'll reach it. How does this effect you? Well if we're on target we might be able to kill these turkeys just days before Thanksgiving, which means we'd be able to provide you with fresh, never frozen, turkeys. More than likely we'll need to kill these birds earlier, in which case we'd have to freeze them.

I'd be interested to hear from people on whether a fresh bird is that important. I have a hard time believing that any bird you buy from a major grocer "fresh" was not previously frozen, as the shelf life is only 3 days. There is no way a grocery store can get their act together enough to get the birds that fast, considering how difficult it may be for us.

Too Inquisitive Turkey

The birds are going to be priced the same as our chickens, $4 per pound, with free delivery to NYC, Philadelphia, and Youngstown, OH. We have a limited supply (25 for sure reservations and a waiting list, as we're not sure how many of the original 32 will be alive.) Get them while the gettin's good, and don't forget about Christmas and your everyday turkey consumption!