In which we get on with getting ready for winter in the Swampland

We opted out of raising turkeys this year, 
because our friend Mel does a much better job.  

Narragansett turkey hen, not one of the participants in this year's harvest.  Photo by Monica Bretherton

As she did last year, Mel hosted a "Turkey Massacre" at her farm.  The goal:  turn eleven of these:

I'm pretty sure the Broad-breasted White fellow in this photo is the one who came home with us

into a freezer full of these:

Kill, clean, package, weigh and freeze.

Mission accomplished.  

A Narragansett hen wants to sit on Santa's lap, but he's too busy getting ready.
This hen is part of the breeding flock, and didn't participate in "freezer camp."

Blue sky over the plucking table.  As always: many hands = light work.

I'm a little braver than I was last year, when I carefully averted my eyes from most parts of the harvest process.  I still opted not to kill or gut, but at least I could watch and learn without getting squicked out at all.  For me, the change is enormous.

Megan un-stuffs the bird's cavity.

 We're all getting better at this process. 

The equipment has been tweaked, with table heights adjusted and more trading around of tasks to avoid fatigue.  Two people brought knife sharpeners.  Instead of packing the birds in trash bags, we used food-grade shrink wrap. Little changes make a big difference at the end of the day.

Sunshine and spaghetti feast after.

Turkeys weren't the only thing on the harvest agenda.  There were also

Tomatoes!  Some of these went straight into the soup pot,
others need more time to ripen on the windowsill.

I am really inept at growing tomatoes.  Because of the Tomato Curse , it's nearly impossible for me:  either I plant tomatoes and it rains all summer, or I don't plant them and it doesn't. 

The gardeners at Mel's place are not cursed, and they share!

That's not to say that Haiku Farm is without bounty to give away.  We had so many beans this summer that I literally took buckets full to work every day to hand out to colleagues.  Jim canned some too, of course, and we also dried a bunch.

We have several jars of dried beans waiting to be tossed into winter soups.

And, inevitably, there's

zucchini--yellow and cannonball.  Plus a couple of patty-pan squashes.


Butternut squash and Foxie.  One of these is not for soup.

My relationship with squash is the opposite of the Tomato Curse.  We ate the first of the butternut squashes this week.  They will last us several months, and we'll be sharing with friends, too.

The pretty blue squash is good for pies--much better than pumpkin.

Giant pumpkins.  Mostly for show, but we (or the chickens) will eat them.

The shed is full of firewood.  The barn is full of hay.  The freezer and the cupboards are full of food. 

We're almost ready for winter...but we aren't finished enjoying the last few sunny days of fall yet.

It's Good, y'all.


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