Thursday, August 5, 2010

Where Our Food Comes From

We buy our meat from a meat CSA - Community Supported Agriculture. 
Chestnut Farm in Hardwick, MA is such a beautiful farm.  They are not organic, but they are as organic as they can be without being officially certified as such.  They state on their website, which I thought was very interesting, is that being certified organic simply means that the feed for the animals is organic.  It has nothing to do with their living conditions.  It really makes me rethink buying certain things that say organic on them.  I'm glad I buy from the CSA. 

Once a month we make the trip out to the farm.  The kids don't like the long ride, but once we get there they don't want to leave.  We have seen 3-day-old piglets squealing for a spot next to their mama.  We have watched a grown mama pig in distress being assisted by the farmers.  My boys have sprayed down the pigs to keep them cool.  They have held turkeys and chickens.  We see the cows that will be turned into our Summertime burgers.  The cows have acres and acres of pasture to graze and roam on. 
The farm also raises goats, sheep and chickens.  They have Thanksgiving turkeys on deck for, um, Thanksgiving.  I have to say that Chestnut Farm's hot dogs are the best things I've ever had.  No lie.  I just received a package of bacon and I'm really, really excited to try it.  I have not had their bacon yet. 

The boys love visiting the farm and seeing all the animals.  I love that they know where their food comes from.  "See that cow, that'll be dinner next month."  When we go to the grocery store they'll say, "So, that's pork...that comes from a pig.  They kill the pig and cut the pork chop out."  You betcha. 

I am so conditioned to nicely cut, boneless pieces of meat on a Styrofoam tray covered in plastic wrap.  It's still hard for me to eat chicken that looks like it came from an animal.  I'm trying.  My boys, however, have no problem gnawing the meat off a rib. 

Our chickens have not started laying eggs yet, but they should be doing so soon.  We lost another chicken...down to six from nine.  One was played with a little too much, one was taken by something and the last was hit by a car...yes, I've already made several "why did the chicken cross the road" jokes. 

Right now we get our milk and eggs from a local farmer.  We started drinking raw milk.  There are risks with raw milk, just like there is with pasteurized milk.  We are able to reap the benefits of bluish-green Auraucana eggs.  They are large and beautifully delicious.  The local farm is delightful with their little orange kitten who sits in the middle of the road waiting to greet all that come to visit.  The cows, chickens and conditions are completely visible to those who come by.  The "store" is one of trust.  It's always open.  One walks in, helps herself to milk, eggs, butter and/or honey and puts the money into a slot in a lock-box on the wall.  On your honor.  I love it.  My boys get to see that people are trusting.  

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