More and more on today’s modern farms a sighting of Gallas gallas is rarer than hen’s teeth. Often when G. gallas are found on a farm it is hidden inside large football size buildings under climate controlled conditions. Why are these magnificent animals hidden from view? Good questions because we do not hide or Galliformes, we have them on display for all to see. And for a farm our sizes the members of the class Aves are numerous on the farm, in our case five different members of the class Aves can be found.
Of all the Aves on the farm, one moves front and center this week, the Galliformes; Gallas gallas makes its debut this weekend. Now don’t get me wrong, the G. gallas have been on the farm since February, but this will be your weekend to enjoy them. In order for you to enjoy G. gallas this weekend, I will be processing away all day Friday.
Did Jeff just say processing away (what is he talking about), indeed I did. First I have to heat approximately 40 gallons of water to 145º F, then gather the……… never mind. What I am attempting to say if you have not goggled the itialized words, is that there will be fresh chicken at the market this weekend, Friday weather permitting.
The chicken season begins anew this weekend. I know many of you look forward to this event from the dining point of view, but there is more to the process than meets the eye.
This sounds extreeeemelllly weird, but if you want to know where you food is coming from, come see for yourself one Friday in the future. Yes, unlike the mass produced poultry industry, I allow visitors and viewers. I prefer that people participate, so that you truly appreciate the sacrifice being made for you.
Processing chickens is not my favorite thing, but I feel better about doing it myself than what happens elsewhere. I know the chickens are treated with dignity and respect, how could I invite you out otherwise.
And yes over the years I have had many participate for a learning experience. If you home school, think of this as a dissection, like the biology class you need to know your anatomy and the physiology. For a culinary class, think of everything you can do with a TRULY FRESH CHICKEN. The possibilities are endless.
If you are the adventurous sort try raising some chickens in the backyard, knowing that Jeff can finish the process (pun intended) for you. The possibilities are endless.
This year we are making some changes in how we sell chicken. First we have eliminated the $10.00 blanket price. This year the whole chickens will be weighed and priced at $3.25 per pound. This means everyone will pay equally so to speak.
The second change will be all markets will share equally by having roughly the same number of chickens available. In the past the chicken distribution was not equal. Some Fridays I would process 80 chickens and then only bring 10 to Market because Ginny and Benjamin had pre-sold 70 chickens that weekend. That would upset mean, and well never mind. What I am trying to say is that we will not be reserving chickens on a market by market basis.
The third change is that this year I will be selling some whole chickens, whole chickens cut into individual pieces; additionally we will be selling select individual pieces. Only the whole chicken is $3.25 per pound, a breast alone is a different price. The reason for this change is comical to me, but what do I know. In the past people would not buy chicken for some of the following reasons. “I don’t know how to cut up a chicken”, “The only piece I have every cooked is the breast, what do you do with the rest?” “It’s only me at home, I don’t need that much.” This year I hope to reach some of these individuals.
Chickens are not the only Aves we will be working with, the goslings are already on the farm, ducklings arrive this week, and it won’t be long and the heritage turkeys will be on farm, this year is our first attempt at turkeys.
One thing from last year that will be the same; is Walnut Hill Farm will be taking orders for chickens for end of year specials. Each year in July we start taking chicken orders for November delivery. Last year the minimum order was 5 for which you must pay a deposit. We are doing the same thing this year. Remember we process chicken May to November, if you do not stock your freezer, you will not have Walnut Hill Farm chicken fro November until May.
So if you are ever in the area on a Friday, and you have farm clothes on, drop on by for a hour or two. You might be surprised, to see what is involved in bringing a high quality chicken to the market. We have nothing to hide here on the farm, come see what the industry will never allow you to see, and enjoy the quality dining.