Entries in Laura (133)


Cooking our first Chicken

My tried and true method for cooking a whole chicken, oven roasting, is what I chose for the first of our self-processed chickens.  Since the bird was about half the size of the store-bought chickens, I halved the cooktime to an hour so as not to dry out the meat.  As I checked the chicken though, I could tell it was done in just about 40 minutes.  The meat was easily cut off and the whole family agreed that the chicken had a great flavor.  Slightly more firm than the store-bought, full of flavor and juicy.  With the smaller size, our portions were smaller than store bought, but with some great sides, it's a justifiable balance.  We are definitely looking forward to cooking more of our chickens.  Knowing how they lived and were processed gives me a certain confidence in knowing my family is eating well.  When my daughter asked for thirds, I was very glad to know she was getting such a high quality meat to nourish her body.

Wanting to utilize the whole chicken, I made stock from the Nourishing Traditions recipe.   We now have some awesome chicken stock for future meals.  Stock from these chickens is much more robust, rich and healthy.  Continued nourishment for the family!


Future Farm Features in Play

Discussing our plans for the farm has been a family affair.  The girls are often involved in conversations about the animals we wish to raise and the style of land management we will adopt.  As children often process life experiences through play, it came as no surprise to see our daughters playing farm.  They have created a farm with the toys that features many details of our future farm.  Take a look...

Here you see a perimeter fence and two ponds.  There are pigs foraging in the (rather sparse!) woods, chickens following the cattle in what was described as a pasture and a small rabbit area.  A couple of livestock guardian dogs round out this part of the farm.

On this side, you can see the pond with a variety of creatures.  There's a creek back there, too.  A trailer, truck and barn/house round out the large items on this side.  If you look close, you can see a couple more rabbits and also a cat by the barn.  

The importance of water, a varied landscape (although limited visually by the carpet), and a variety of animals working synergistically are all important features of our future farm.  A working farm will be a lot of work, we know, but in the joy of realizing our dreams, it will also include a lot of play.




Appreciating Where Food Comes From

It wasn't long ago that I bought, with trepidation, my first whole chicken.  Prior to that, breasts and tenders were the mainstay of our chicken intake.  You can imagine then, what a leap it is for me to take a chicken from farm to fridge.  As Jeff posted in Farm Visits, we recently visited a local farm to process chickens.  It was with a bit of hesitation that I went.  Even though I had watched chicken processing videos online, I didn't know what to expect in real life.  I didn't know what would be expected of me and I didn't know how I would feel being a part of the process.  Honestly, I was uncomfortable.  Buying chickens at the local grocery store is much more comfortable.  However, that doesn't ensure the chickens led a healthy life nor a natural one (I've seen those videos, too).  My comfort with the process takes a serious backseat to the chicken's quality of life.  I would rather be a part of the process and be able to fully appreciate where my food is coming from, than to cheerily buy the prewrapped chickens from the store.  So, since I choose to eat chicken, I was glad for the opportunity to be a part of the process of taking a chicken from farm to fridge.  If you also choose to eat chicken, I heartily suggest that you search out a local farm and offer to help on processing day.



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Synergistic Acres - 21733 Iliff Rd, Parker, KS 66072 - 913-735-4769
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