Entries in Recipes (13)

Saturday
Jan052013

Every life is valuable

 

 

Synergistic Acres was birthed from an important set of principles.  One of those principles is that our animals live their entire life on the farm.  

In relation to our egg laying flock, this means if we want 100 layers, we hatch 200 eggs -- since around half will be roosters.

This is true for commerical hatcheries as well.  If they need 100,000 chicks for an egg layer house, they will have about that many roosters.  However, these roosters do not live for more than one day.  These roosters do not have any value and so they are thrown into a meat grinder - alive.

Now, in my eyes, the true tragedy of this is not the method of the chicks being killed, since it is probably as quick and painless as any other method.  However, the true shame is in the life that is wasted.  Since it is against our farm's values to have all our male chicks ground alive, we cannot support this practice indirectly. If we buy our hens from commercial hatcheries, we are responsible for practices we don't support.   As a result, we have committed to hatching all our own layers on the farm.  So, for our flock of 100 layers, that means we also have 100 roosters! 

These roosters are from egg laying varieties which do not grow fast or with excessively meaty frames. Instead, they live a long life, free ranging with our hens (dutifully fertilizing many, many eggs), foraging on pasture and eating organic grains.   After six months or more, they are ready to butcher.

That is what we did this week.  We butchered several of our roosters that have been gracing our farm for the last several months.  The heritage breed chickens we raise are known as dual purpose.  This means they are not excessively skewed towards egg laying or meat varieties - rather they lay moderately well while also putting on a healthy amount of meat.  We definitely found this to be true in these birds we just prepared.  They were meaty and most were in the 5 pound range.  

Roosters are a gourmet meat, rich in flavor and texture and will be best suited to slower cooking methods.  Here are some ideas for cooking a delicious rooster, including the easy crockpot method.  We tried the Corfu rooster the other night and it was a big hit!  You've probably heard the old adage 'low and slow' to cook a stewing hen and cooking a rooster is quite similar so that you bring out the best characteristics of the meat.

It is our belief that you, our customers, will share our values and agree these roosters lives have value.  It is with your support that we are able to transfer our fundamental values and beliefs into actions that have a real effect on our world.  

We know many of you have wanted to try a pasture-raised chicken this fall, but we had sold out.  With this recent decision to process the roosters in the winter, we are again able to make available some excellent, local, pasture-raised poultry.  Availability is limited, please visit our order form to learn more.  

 

Monday
Mar122012

Yummy recipe with our farmstead chicken! 

We have been trying many of the recipes submitted by readers during our chicken contest. Daniél submitted this delicious chicken recipe.  So tasty!  And then we made the broth recipe Heather shared which resulted in this rich, flavorful goodness.  

Have you tried any of the recipes?  

Wednesday
Aug032011

A little lesson via Spaghetti Sauce

photo courtesy of Slow & Simple Living

Tonight's dinner was a little reminder of how far I've come on my food journey.  Spaghetti was our entree and we used a marinara recipe that I got from my friend Carol over at Slow & Simple Living.  I shared with Jeff that we were trying a new recipe of homemade spaghetti sauce and I had a flashback to over ten years ago when I said the same thing to him.  

That evening a decade ago, I was so pleased that I had passed by the jars of premade spaghetti sauce at the grocery store and instead made the sauce myself. Making it myself meant I stirred a little packet of spices into a couple cans of pre-seasoned tomato sauce and paste.  And I remember that being a lot of work.  

Now, I am happy to gather tomatoes from the garden or market, dice them and simmer them with my personal choice of spices.  And I didn't consider that a lot of work.  Such a change!  The lesson I take from this is two-fold...#1 it's great to celebrate wherever you are in your food journey, you can always be learning...#2  as you learn, you will develop new preferences and values.  Life on the farm will only reinforce this lesson many, many times.  It's great to be learning!

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