On Tuesday we harvested our first on-farm chickens.
This was a potent experience.
Brendan was up at 4 AM, gathering chickens and heating water, and he closed-up around 7:30 that evening. In the meantime, his wife, Sarah, and two daughters - Kellan and Ida, and I joined him to facilitate the processing of 82 birds. We had invested in stainless steel equipment built for on-farm locations, so we were fairly well prepared for the task, and there was enough blood 'n guts to know we engaged in the real deal. Three generations worked carefully handling these animals, creating one of the best meat-eating opportunities of all. At noon we took a break to grill several subjects, enjoying them with Sarah's garden-greens for lunch. By the end of the day, all were tired, but we had harvested, cleaned, packaged, weighed, and frozen our first home-raised batch. Five-pound chickens are now stacked in the freezer, awaiting you.
These small beasts gave themselves over to us, in full trust. We honored them, as we have from the start, with intimate care. The interchange between them and us on this day was a deeply satisfying, even profound, experience. It is to be continued for one more round, when this care is reflected in the flavor we will enjoy upon the plate, which is unusually rich and deep.
We talked last week about harvest of chickens as well. Those came from the neighboring farm of Pheryl Zimmerman, who is raising 600 for us this year, employing our methods: non-gmo grain, daily movement to fresh grass, and on-farm slaughtering. Each farm is limited to 1,000 birds for on-farm processing in Ohio, and we anticipate needing more than that, so we are building our own capacity, while creating alliances with neighbors.
Below we have chicken breast and mashed potatoes, green beans, mozzarella salad, and green-leaf salad, along with a brilliant hydrangea bloom in celebration.
You may have noticed the FDA recently reversed its entrenched position of thirty years ago, now stating that trans-fats, like Crisco and margarine, clog arteries and are to be removed from processed foods within three years. So, animals fats are now officially condoned again. What a loss for those who suffered through diets of margarine in the meantime. However, better late than never.
We look forward to seeing you Sunday the 21st at the Hyde Park Farmers Market.
On-line ordering is now open, for delivery Wednesday afternoon, July 1st: http://grassrootsfoods.biz/on-line-purchasing
In gratitude for our feathered friends,
Drausin & Susan