Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Food Independence Challege Update, AKA Fun With Poultry, Part I

Well, after some time out of town and not much happening around the house, we've managed to make up for it in a big way. Here's the latest update on our progress...

We didn't actually plant anything new this week, just moved and transplanted a few things. We also haven't harvested much - just a few herbs, a few beans and some green onions. Our big prep item this week was to buy a Foodsaver - I'm really not sure how I've lived this long without one! I have an overwhelming urge to vacuum seal everything - watch out, pets! ;-)

I cooked a tasty vegetable stew almost entirely from veggies brought home from the CSA farm this week, added a bit to our reserves and rotated some older items to the front of the queue.

Now for the biggies - our new skill learned this week was how to process chickens from coop to freezer. It was quite an event, I must say. A lot of work (five of us did about fifteen birds in all), a lot of mess, but overall a great learning experience. This leads me to my preserving efforts for the week - we have eight chickens in the freezer and one in the pot. Talk about stuffed! I'm not sure I could fit a single pea in that freezer right now. On the local food systems front, I helped out at our CSA farm picking beans and blackberries and have passed some of those (and some chicken!) to family members. We're also really working hard on making new connections with like-minded folks and sharing as much knowledge as possible. It's amazing what these relationships can bring - our day of chicken processing would never have been possible without them!

It's clear to me that the coming week will involve preserving beans and blackberries, making chicken stock, and if I can fit it into the schedule, making yogurt and growing sprouts. Stay tuned.


  1. Staying tuned to this dial. I'll be interested to hear the ongoing adventurers of what gets vaccume sealed- and I don't want to hear about it in the nightly news! ;-}

  2. Heh! Well, I've already decided that every time I stew one of these many, many chickens we have, I'm going to vacuum seal and freeze the leftover "scrappy bits" - skin and other funky parts that aren't really good meat but aren't bones - and save them to make dog biscuits!

    Hmmm...come to think of it, maybe if I vacuum seal my garden shoes, the dog won't eat them. ;-)

  3. Wow, what was it like to process the chickens?! Squeamish me (who should put up or shut up when it comes to eating meat) thinks it would be really hard!

  4. It's dirty work, to be sure, but not as hard as I expected. To be completely fair, these were not my chickens so I had no attachment to them whatsoever. I might feel differently if I had raised them. It's an unpleasant task, but it was the "put up or shut up" mentality that motivated us to do it. We're glad we did.

  5. I really want to learn how to process chickens, too! I'll ask you when/if the time comes. For some reason I'm not squeamish about the idea at all.

    Lisa in MN