AgriCulture: Home Making

WHAT’S NEW THIS WEEK? DRIVING TO THE CITY?
ROOM FOR A LARGE LAMP IN A BOX?
I (MARK) TOLD A FRIEND I WOULD BRING A LARGE LAMP
TO THE CITY FOR HIM, NOT REALIZING THE BOX WOULD
NOT REALLY BE TRANSPORTABLE ON THE TRAIN. IF ANYONE
HAPPENS TO BE DRIVING WITH AN SUV OR WITH AN EMPTY
BACK SEAT TO THE CITY, AND WOULD NOT MIND A SILENT
COMPANION THAT I’D PICK UP FROM YOU THERE, I’D LOVE
TO HITCH THE LAMP A RIDE.
518-537-3815
With the right skills, any shelter can be a home:
Home Making
This Wednesday was perfectly typical in all regards: At noon, you could find Troy and me and our two newest friends crouched in the hay loft atop the barn, surrounded by house sparrows and their detritus, pulling armfuls of wool out of black contractor bags and heaping them into massive, hairy haystacks, bits of fluff raining around us like soot. Early the day before, I’d gotten a phone call from a Bard student named Sophia who was searching for bulk sheep fleeces for her senior project, and had heard that we might be able to help. I can’t tell you how nice it feels to know these kind of rumors are being spread about me.Sophia brought along Mickey, her friend and a resident fiber expert from Hudson Valley Sheep and Wool Co., and together we scaled the treacherous hay loft steps, stumbled to the farthest-back corner, and began the daunting task of searching through our accumulated fleece collection for the right stuff. Over the years, our flock has managed to grow far more wool than any pair of farmers could possibly process (as detailed in past newsletters), and the sacks of sheared fleeces have accumulated in heaps — a veritable archive of woolen history. To a casual observer, we probably looked like mad vagabonds from some post-apocalyptic landscape, elbows deep in trash bags, covered in feathers and dust, holding matted hanks of hair up to the light and exclaiming with delight, “It’s perfect!” (If this impression becomes part of my rumored persona, I won’t be upset). But for our current purposes, these sacks hold treasure.Sophia’s project, essentially her Studio Arts senior thesis, is the construction of a yurt made entirely from natural, locally extracted materials. She’s already sourced and assembled maple poles for the frame, and begun to craft panels of felt for the covering. When she called and told me about her project and asked if I could help, my mouth fell open, as Troy and I have talked (or more accurately, wildly fantasized) about creating exactly such a structure since the moment we got here and met the Karakuls. “Yurt” is a Turkic word for this particular type of tent-like structure, made with a collapsible frame covered in felt, and their history is deeply entwined with the nomadic people of Central Asia who cultivated our hairy, fat-tailed sheep. Showing Sophia the Turkana house and talking about the goals of her project, it felt as if we had both come a long way to reach the same unexpected conclusion.We loaded Sophia’s tiny car to the brim with twenty pounds of wool and sent her back to her equally tiny studio where her structure waits, unassembled, for spring. That peculiar feeling, of a surprise discovery of treasure, stayed after she drove away, and only grew stronger when we picked up a pair of our closest Raleigh friends from the train station and brought them back to the house. While cooking dinner with them, plus my brother and neighbor Adam, we kept circling back to the totally improbable story of how we met, and the circuitous paths that brought all of us together, eating British White steaks in our glorious kitchen. Between the six of us we could count well over two dozen moves in the last ten years, including an improbable number of overlapping permutations, like the winter that Troy and I spent camped out in Lauren and Morgan’s front room in the Cheese Factory, or the weeks my brother spent helping me farm at Oberlin. Collectively, we have a mountain of experience in creating new homes, apart and together. Maybe this is why the idea of this yurt project feels so compelling, and so hopeful. Taking only the resources that are at hand, and that might otherwise be discarded, and weaving them together into a portable home, is simply the most tangible manifestation of what we’re all trying to do in any given place. I’m excited to keep you updated on what Sophia creates, and am luxuriating in the idea that we could do the same, maybe even building an idea that you could come visit, inhabit, and rest inside of.
THIS WEEK’S OFFERINGS FROM LAST FALL’S GARDEN HARVEST:FROZEN SQUASH (SHREDDED, TROMBONCINO), GREAT FOR FRITTERS, $2/LB.EGGS: Back in full production. We can handle all your orders. $5/dozMEATS: We keep some on hand, but it helps to order ahead in case we need to retrieve from our stash in the big commercial freezerGEESE: One remaining, about 8.5 lbs. $10/lb.TURKEYS: A few small ones left over and frozen $11/lb .GUINEA FOWL, frozen $7/lb (half the price of the Union Sq. Farmers Market). These are excellent 3 lb. or so birds.ROASTING CHICKENS – Freedom Rangers, $6/lb, range of sizes, mostly in the 4 to 5 lb. rangeLAMB: Loin chops at $14 a pound, riblets $8/lb, rib rack roasts $14/lb, small leg roasts $14/lb, We will soon replenish our lamb supply as it’s time for several to go to market.PORK: Loin pork chops, $12/lb (2 to a pack, btwn 1 and 1.5 lbs), Jowl (roughly 2 to 3 lbs each), $12/lb, 
Spare ribs and country ribs $7/lb 
baby back ribs $8/lb 
fresh ham roasts (2 to 3 lbs), $12/lb 
picnic or Boston butt roasts (roughly 2 lbs) $12/lb 
smoked bacon, $12/lb 
ground pork $7/lb 
Kielbasa $8/lbBEEF 
the last of our diminishing stash 
Sirloin steaks, $14/lb. 
kidney, heart etc. $1/lbDUCKS: Last year we did Pekin ducks. The males are not so different in size from the females, and these are nice meaty birds, most between 5 and 7 lbs. Also $7/lb. We have to retrieve these from the big freezer, so please order a week ahead.
FARM PICKUPS:Email us your order farm@turkanafarms.com, and let us know when you’d like to pick up your order. It will be put out for you on the side screened porch of the farmhouse 110 Lasher Ave. Germantown) in a bag. You can leave cash or a check in the now famous pineapple on the porch table. Regular pickup times are Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., other days by arrangement. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to call at 518-537-3815 or email.

AgriCulture: Home Making
AgriCulture

 
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