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First dusting of snow

First dusting of snow

It has to happen sometime.  The first dusting of snow.  Ironically, although winter is usually my least favorite season, I become as elated as I did at age 5 when the first flakes hit the ground.  You can barely see the remnants in this photo.  Some atop the now dormant charcoal grill, and a bit of snow to the side of the barn.  A few hours earlier, the ground had been covered.  It was true winter bliss.

With this, of course, comes the predictable readiness for winter.  Changing furnace filters, pulling in hoses, covering gardens, stacking wood.

And killing chickens.

I hope I don’t offend anyone here.  Two neighbors down, a younger couple with four children moved in.  They’ve quit their corporate jobs and have begun farming.  Two hundred chickens, five or six pigs, several cows and an overgrown orchard (which came with the property).  They have their hands full and they’ve never done this before.  They are committed to providing their young children with healthfully raised food.  Having quite a few free ranging chickens at the age where they will make great soup, my husband offered to come and show them the process (having been raised on a small farm himself).

I was a bit nervous.  I am not a vegetarian, but I am not a killer.  Yet, having spent a great deal of time pouring through books on how our food is raised and handled, I was prepared to meet what I might later eat.  It was a humbling experience.  My part of the process was helping with the processing of the bird after it had met its fate.  I have to say, it was a respectful process, humane and swift.  No antibiotics or hormones or poor living conditions.  Nice people, who wanted to feed their family without fear of what they were putting in their mouths.

I couldn’t argue with that.  And, although I won’t be wandering in the woods any time soon to hunt down my next meal, I will be thinking, as I have more and more, about the way the food gets to my plate.  I hope to expand our own growing of vegetables in the next year, and may get a few chickens (for egg laying) myself in the spring.  I make my own bread each week and I try to buy things as locally as I possibly can.

And believe it or not (after all my plights with yellow jackets this summer) I did buy a beehive.  My bees will arrive in the spring.  Although we should get some honey from the venture, I really purchased the hive with the intent of giving back a little and providing some bees for the local farmers’ pollination needs.  Because the bees having been dying off as well.

Don’t worry, I’ll tote my epipen where ever I go.

Have a great Sunday.