The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Ugly turkey

Turkey slaughtering

Monday was turkey pickup day. Our friends let us drop by early so we'd be sure to get home before dark, which means we got to see the whole butchering operation in action.

Turkey butchering station

The farmers apologized profusely because...the turkeys are too big this year! "That's good, right?" I asked. "More money for you?"

"No," they answered. "We have to give people a discount to get them to take the bigger Cooling a turkeybirds since most folks don't know what to do with leftovers."

"I love leftovers," I replied. "Give me the bird that's going to be the hardest to move."

They hemmed and hawed. "You really don't want that one. We can't really sell it. It has a bit of skin torn on the back due to the plucking process...."

"Looks a lot better than some of our birds," I answered. "Hand it over."

Pig and goat

By way of apology, they offered a pack of last year's bacon. I think I know who got the sweeter end of that deal. Thanks for the awesome pastured meat!

(Moral of the story: If you're buying meat or produce from a real farmer and don't mind a few cosmetic blemishes, you'll make their day if you tell them so. Americans eat with their eyes, and delicious grub can be hard to move if it has a spot. You'll probably get a discount too!)

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Are you kidding me? Well, no, I know you're not. Americans have become so disassociated from their food. I see this year that the Honeysuckle white frozen turkeys (avail to us urban folk) are in the 15-16# range instead of the usual 12-14#. I overheard a group of women discussing the 'crisis' "What to do after a day of leftovers?" "You can't give the stuff away." "Why do they stock the big ones?" I laughed. I bought 3 birds, 2 for the freezer 1 for Thanksgiving. I foresee gallons of hearty broth, soups, stews and sandwiches well into late spring. Silly shoppers. Nice snag for you. Congrats.
Comment by Kris Tue Nov 24 07:04:03 2015
How big was it exactly? And besides, leftovers are the best! That's one of the good things about Thanksgiving dinner, right? Hope yall have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Comment by Kayla Tue Nov 24 10:43:45 2015

Kayla --- The one we got was 22 pounds, but I think they said the biggest was 24. Yeah, that's a lot of turkey. :-) But delicious if it's anything like last year's!

I'm glad to hear from you! I was just thinking of you today --- missing seeing you this week!

Comment by anna Tue Nov 24 11:30:08 2015
I just wanted to say, thanks to small farmers, who keep doing what they do. :)
Comment by Chris Tue Nov 24 19:01:31 2015
At the Friends Wilderness Center ( the Saturday after Thanksgiving we have a Cold Turkey Hike. All who come bring their leftovers. We have lunch and then take a hike to help burn of all the wonderful calories from the lunch. It helps to get rid of the leftovers, for those who do not want to eat them or freeze them for later, meet new friends on the hike, and have a great time in the wilderness.
Comment by Sheila Tue Nov 24 23:25:04 2015

They felt like they needed to apologize for giving you more food? That seems so backwards. But if it's bacon...apology accepted!

Maybe you should write an e-book about how to use up leftovers; apparently there are plenty of folks who could use the advice!

Comment by Jake Wed Nov 25 01:02:51 2015

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