I hope I never lose my sense of wonder. If that makes me naive, then so be it.

Thursday, 23 July 2009


Yesterday was a trip for the girls and I that we don't really count as a field trip, or a fun trip, but one that we make and learn a bit as we go. Yes, the chickens' one-way trip. Well, they do travel both ways but there are some severe changes between going there and returning home.

At 5am I was up and loading fourteen chickens, none of whom were pleased at being picked up (still have the scratches to show for it!), into a crate in the back of the pickup. Coolers were loaded in for the return trip, and off we went to the abattoir. Yaaay! I handed them over flapping, didn't really watch what happened, and returned four hours later to pick up fourteen neat, tidy, oven- or freezer-ready roasters.

I'm getting hardened though; last year was my first go at this and yes, sappy me had felt terribly guilty and I had even shed a few tears as I'd driven off after handing them over. This year? I watched what was happening with some detachment, passed them across, didn't feel any remorse, and drove away asking the girls if they thought we should go grab some breakfast. I don't think that hardening is translating across my life, just (a) I knew what to expect this year, and (b) I knew how good they were going to taste.

So, after 10 weeks of growing from little fuzzy day-old chicks, I had almost 100 pounds of chicken. Five of them were over 8 pounds, a size of chicken you just don't see in the grocery store. One never made it to the freezer and was supper last night, soup today. So even if part of me is hardening to farm realities, I'm happy again to fill my freezer with food I've grown, and to know where what I'm eating is coming from.

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