Last week we processed our first cohort of meat chickens. Started with 30 in mid-May and ended up with 29 Freedom Rangers (lost one to a hawk). They clocked in at 4.3-6.9 lbs after they were dressed and ready for eating. I have to give a special thanks to HL, a fellow CSA member and neighbor, who volunteered with us to process the birds at a local farm (that has exceptional facilities). He was supurb, taking part in both the killing and the eviscerating. And I'm quite sure he'll never look at a chicken on his plate the same way again.
Which is precisely what happened to me when I started eating meat that I had a hand in raising and harvesting. I still eat it - enjoy it! love it! - but I have a different relationship with the chicken or turkey or pork on my plate. And while this is not for everyone, I truly enjoy this new relationship and would never go back.
Speaking of what might be on your plate... expect the following in this week's basket:
Green beans, summer squash, beets, radicchio, endive, dandelion greens, lettuce, kale or collards, basil, parsley, cilantro/dill.
~~~ We grow a version of radicchio that has green and red leaves (rather than the standard white and red) - Palla di Fuoco Rossa from Italy - and it is bitter and delicious and holds up to braising or sauteeing (if I cook it I always finish it with balsamic dressing in the pan). Our endive is also known as "frisee" - Tres Fine Maraishere Olesh from France) - and holds up well with either a regular salad dressing or warm vinaigrette. And our dandelion greens, well, they are just the healthiest greens you could eat (and next comes collards...).