In which some meals might be faster, but not many meals are tastier

 Early on Thanksgiving morning, the Facebook bragging started up:
people were talking about how early they started preparing their feast.

Some folks had started getting ingredients ready at 7am.  

Others got up earlier, and had sweet potatoes roasting and dinner rolls baking by 6.

Still others told us that they had been brining their turkey two or even three days prior to the holiday.

At Haiku Farm, we started preparing dinner in 2009.

turning grass into garden
Our first year on the Farm, we built a least, we put in the beginnings of a garden.

The dirt was too rocky to grow carrots at first.  It took
until 2012 to build up enough good garden soil to grow good carrots!

We fenced off a big space, and started amending the soil--

Spring garden, 2014

with stall cleanings, yard waste, kitchen scraps, and, of course  

The gardening staff


The chickens live in our gardens every winter, breaking up all the organic stuff we toss in there, stirring it all together with their clever little toes, and depositing their own special fertilizer in the process.

The result, after 5 years:

Fingerling potatoes are excellent mashed, and perfect for a Thanksgiving feast

We included several home-garden ingredients in this year's feast, including carrots, potatoes, and the green beans that Jim canned last summer.

 And, then, of course, there was the guest of honor:

We named the birds:
"Thanksgiving," "Christmas," and "Smokem If You Gottem."

We didn't have the skills in 2009 to keep turkeys alive long enough to eat them.  

We learned lots from keeping chickens for several years, though, and applied our knowledge to raising turkeys this year.  

Also, of course, there was no place for turkeys to live on our property in 2009.

Before we could raise turkeys, we had to build a barn for them to live in!

Winter, 2011 

The turkeys lived their entire lives in Stall #2 of the barn--starting first in the apple box that the goats came in, before graduating to the stall and then the stall and paddock.

Winter 2014

Plus, of course, the Extended Turkey Playground, also known as our backyard.

Turkeys at age 4 months--big, but not finished growing yet

The turkeys themselves took more than 5 months to prepare.

And the result, on Thanksgiving

Chef Santa brined the bird formerly known as
"Thanksgiving" in plum juice, an homage to the birds' favorite food.

Worth the wait.

"Thanksgiving" was served to family and friends, along with garden veggies and
a stuffing that included turkey favorites:sage, blueberries, sunflower and pumpkin seeds. 

But wait, there's more!

When your turkeys weigh more than 20 pounds each, it's good to have a Leftovers Party.

Post-Thanksgiving Leftovers Party at Fish Creek Farm
And for THAT occasion, we brought Turkey #2, known as "Smokem."

Prior to the party, Patty took Smokem (pre-brined in plum juice here at the Farm) home, where her lovely husband smoked her gently on low heat during the coldest weekend of the year so far.

Connor is not allowed to have smoked turkey.  Sigh.
And on Party Day:

Isn't she beautiful?

But wait--still more?

Of course!  After all the delicious smoked meat had been devoured (endurance riders are NOT shy about eating!), there was still a lovely, smokey carcass, which then got turned into:

Smoked Turkey Broth
the perfect base for a Smoked Turkey Bean Soup, which is bubbling on the stove this very instant.

So there you have it:  the Ultimate Slow Food.

It took five years to make it to the table.


It's really, really Good.


  1. Those turkeys look delicious. Now I'm hungry again...

  2. What a great journey from garden creation to dinner! Thanksgiving and Smokem look amazing, lots of hard work turned delicious.

  3. Very cool!! Looks absolutely delicious and well worth the loving investment of time.

  4. So very cool. And I like the idea of the plum juice!


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