Friday, December 5, 2008

Enjoying the harvest

We had to buy a second freezer. It is a good problem to have.

You see, over the summer, we raised about 125 chickens for meat and though they did not all make it to the freezer (we had trouble with the Cornish X Rocks), we still had lots and lots of birds that did. And my freezer was getting full. In fact, we had another 25 birds or so to do and I had absolutely no room. I was cooking them one right after another in my 2 crockpots, trying to save room since they take up less room cooked and deboned, but it just wasn't making enough of a dent.

So, we bought another freezer. A big one. Twenty-five cubic feet. We didn't mess around. And it is a good thing too, because we now have 2 nearly full freezers.

Mr. Big Boy, our 500 pound boar, took a little trip to the meat locker a few weeks ago and came home in 6 large bags full of nice little paper-wrapped packages. He filled up the smaller freezer completely on his own, with overflow into the other one. We were a little concerned about "boar taint." You see, it seems that boar meat can sometimes carry an "off" flavor because of the raging hormones in a boar. But, if it is there, it is faint. Faint enough that with some spices, you don't notice a thing. I wouldn't sell the meat, but for us, it's fine.

And then there are the rabbits. We've been steadily adding more and more rabbit to our freezer as well. I finally got up the nerve to cook a couple up yesterday and so last night, we had rabbit nachos! Not something you'd see on a menu, I'm guessing. But it was good. Just like chicken, and I'm not just saying that. We are having rabbit spaghetti today for lunch (rabbit in sauce over cooked spaghetti squash). I'm still not convinced that I want to continue to raise rabbits for meat. The processing is just not nearly as easy as chickens for us. But, while we've got them, what else are we going to do? I mean, the suckers multiply like...rabbits! And there are only so many people in small-town USA that need a pet rabbit. Believe me. We've tried.

It is nice to know that you have hundreds of pounds of meat in the basement, all from animals you raised yourself. I haven't bought meat from the grocery store in a long, long time. Of course, I'm getting short on beef (our last beef came from buying a half from another farm) and I'm starting to wonder how long it will be before Burt can take a trip to the meat locker, too. Until then, I do have plenty of chicken, pork and rabbit (and even some deer that was gifted to us) to keep us quite fed and happy.


Mrs. Trixi said...

Oh, I can't wait to have your problem. We have 2 pigs in the barn that will be ready for butchering in Feb. They will only be about 250 lbs. but I hope they fill up my freezer and we won't have to buy meat for a while. We already have a small amount of deer meat and hope to add another 2 or 3.
It is so nice to know right where your families food is coming from.

OurCrazyFarm said...

Isn't it wonderful to see those full freezers?!! We chose to not raise pigs this summer, and are sure regretting it now. Rob gets cheese and whey from the dairy, otherwise I agree with you, they are too expensive to raise. I've been wondering, how are your goats doing? Have you gotten them bred yet? And~ How's the morning sickness? Hope your feeling better. Happy Farming! Terri

Gina said...

Oh yes, if I had a source for whey and cheese, I'd probably look into full-time pig farming. They really are prolific and sell well. But, if you have to buy in your feed, it hurts.

Yes, we did get our goats bred. Our neighbors have a nice Nubian buck that was more than happy to entertain our girls for the day. I hope it worked.

And the morning sickness is gone, thanks for asking. I just commented to Don as I walked into the kitchen and smelled the pot roast cooking that it was so nice to smell strong smells without wanting to barf! Ahhh, it's nice to be me again!