Chicken Wrangling 101

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“At night I dream that you and I are two plants
that grew together, roots entwined,
and that you know the earth and the rain like my mouth,
since we are made of earth and rain.”

-Pablo Neruda

Do you have anyone in your life that just seems to want to be contrary to you all the time, does the opposite of what you want or expect? I do. Her name is yellow-belly, my white leghorn hen. She has gotten in the habit of roosting high up in a pine sapling every night, and every evening when we walk up that hill to close the chickens in their coop for the night, we have to take a pole and knock her down, chase her around, and get her in the coop. Doesn’t she realize that her coop is her home, her refuge from all those nocturnal predators that would kill for a taste of her delicious flesh? It’s quite aggravating. If anybody has any hints or tips as to how to break her of this habit, please, do tell!

Speaking of wrangling chickens, last Sunday we had the pleasure of attending a chicken processing workshop at our friends Chris and Michelle’s farm, Big Tree Farm, where we got to experience the process to get a chicken from the yard to the freezer! We sliced and diced, plucked and gutted all morning, and I’m feeling pretty confident with my chicken processing skills. I think Matt got a bit of the birdy bloodlust, so keep all fowl away from him! Just joking! It was a great time and very informational, and we even got to go see the big tree itself! Thanks Big Tree! You can learn more about their efforts at http://www.bigtreefarm.net.

This week at the farm, things have been pretty easy going to tell you the truth! We’ve had some well needed rain, and it was perfectly timed with the tractor work I got done out in the field to get it ready for the fall planting. We harvested some Purple Majesty potatoes, which are now curing in the basement, planted some pumpkins and winter squash, and continued our harvest of squash, zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers and eggplant! Cantaloupe and watermelons are soooo close to being ripe, and the okra plants are starting to flower! Now I need the rain to stop so I can get out and finish the field work, so I can plant all the delicious fall veggies that I know you will love!

Speaking of fall, the spring share of the Street Fare Farm CSA will be coming to a close this month, and then there will be about a month and a half break, but the Fall CSA will start up again in September! Head on over to http://www.streetfarefarm.com/2016-csa/ for more information and the sign up form, and sign up ASAP so you don’t miss out on weekly boxes of fresh, local, USDA certified organic produce!

I hope you all have a safe and wonderful Fourth of July, and that you get to spend it with your closest friends and family! My older brother Abbot stopped by for the night yesterday on his way back home to Maryland, and my other older brother Josh, his wife Katerina, and their boys Oliver and Martin, are on their way down as I type to spend a few days here at Uncle Ben’s farm! Cherish the time you have with your family, you may not always get along, and there may be nobody that can make you madder, but that’s because there is no one that will know you better and there is not guarantee to the time each and every one of us have allotted on this earth, so have fun, and in the immortal words of Bill S. Preston, Esq. and Ted “Theodore” Logan, “be excellent to each other, and, party on, dude!”

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