Category Archives: homesteading

How do we eat them?

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How do we eat them?

It’s a very common question we get from almost everyone who comes out to our farm. It is usually asked in a hushed tone and hesitantly but its one we do not mind answering. I think it is important to tell people that it was a process. Often the first one is the hardest to eat.

I am not a huge protein fan but I know with each meal that we eat, my children look to me before they brave the first bite. They very quickly forget what they are eating and move into discussion of taste instead.image

I have learned through the years that its best to process the animals and eat them on different days. I find that its easier when we do things like chunk them into roasts, make hamburger or debone them into fillets.

I find the more we work through the process, the easier it is.

I do know that four years ago my family ate very very little meat. I had watched Food Inc and was very much affected me. I pretty much went cold turkey from purchasing meat from the grocery store. My children for years asked me to buy meat and on a rare occasion I would. I always felt guilty when I did and I am very glad I do not have to wrestle with those feelings anymore. I think that people are going to head back into this direction, growing their own food. I do want people to understand that it is a process though

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Suzy, Zoro and Flappy bird

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This is Suzy. Her companions are Zoro and Flappy Bird.

I will be the first to admit that they are still around as Flappy bird was the constant companion of Suzy last summer, until puberty hit. There is something about Suzy that makes her very likeable and because of that we decided to keep her, flappy and a mate also got to stick around to see if we can hatch out some baby ducklings in the Spring time.

Flappy and Zoro had hit it off right from the very beginning and I think that is why Suzy got close to us humans. It was sad over time though to see the other two ducks off as a happy couple and Suzy off by oneself. It is still that way but I think things are changing. My husband happily announced on valentines day that We may see ducklings from Suzy yet. This is quite exciting to us as farmers as we were trying to figure out how to separate the eggs so we were not trying to hatch out unfertilized ones. Does not sound like much of an issue anymore and now we face a bigger challenge of how to get Suzy to stop eating her eggs.

Late last fall she and Flappy had begun to lay eggs but we have unsuccessfully been able to retrieve them at all. Although they are free range ducks, we may have to pen them up for at least a couple of weeks so we can try to get their eggs.

If any one has any suggestions on how to to get the ducks to stop eating their eggs, I would appreciate the advice. Spring is just around the corner and I cannot wait to update this blog with pictures of our success.

Biggie and Little Pig

image I really have a problem with naming the animals that we are ultimately going to eat. My husband insists on naming them so that we can tell them apart. We welcomed two new additions to our homestead this winter. Two Tamsworth/Berkshire crossed piglets. We gave them the name Big pig and Little pig.

We couldn’t have acquired them on a colder day and although they were used to the cold, we moved them into our garage until the temperature gets a little warmer. Our ducks have decided that the nice little pen that we made for the pigs is a great place to hang out as well and have also moved in. Needless to say there is no room in my garage for my car.

We decided to get this type of piglet so they will turn our soil in the Springtime. This breed is suppose to be good for rooting and with our clay like soil we decided we can use all the help we can get. It will be interesting to see how they mesh with our other farm yard animals.

Since I last updated we have decided to take 4 turkeys, 3 ducks and 50 chickens through the winter. They live amongst the 50plus rabbits that we have and thus far have been doing quite well. It surprises me that they really do better in the winter compared to the summer. I think I will take some pictures and do a follow up on our tee pee style shelters. We really are hoping for breeding to take place with our turkeys and ducks.

Been spending a lot of the days planning for Spring. My son is hoping to start his own adventure in farming by raising some meat chickens. We are hoping to turn our huge pens into productive gardens. Every day I still shake my head and wonder what it is that we are doing. Why we are choosing to put so much added stress in our lives. But glad that we are almost through winter and my freezer is still full and my pantry is as well.

It’s now the middle of February and we are gradually getting the pigs ready for their transition back into the outdoos. The sun is peaking its head out finally so I do feel Spring is just around the corner. I will be busy later making pots to start my Spring garden. I must admit that although I do like having all the transplants in the Spring, I hate having all the transplants in my house until the Spring.