AgriCulture: Reflections

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Hey all, Troy here,

It’s that time again, the time where our culture forces us to remember the past and think about the future, even if we’d really rather not. That’s right, it’s a whole new year, and a whole new decade as well (which means ten times the reflection). New Year’s is of course a celebratory holiday, characterized by fireworks, champagne, and kissing. I enjoy these festivities and the whole spectacle as much as the next teetotaling cynic, but it’s hard to ignore the tinge of sadness that also coats this season.

We’re supposed to take stock of our year: the successes and the failures, the triumphs and the regrets, all of it. And a lot can happen in a year. Even if it doesn’t feel like a lot happened to you, we all at the very least recognize that the Roman calendar moves up one tick, the Earth revolves around the sun, and a year does in fact elapse (in other words, you weren’t born this morning with fake memories implanted into your brain). So if you were hoping to hide away and avoid the subject altogether, then I apologize. But yes, change did occur, things did happen, time marched forward, greenhouse gases entered the atmosphere, and wherever we’re all headed, we just took one step closer to it together.

I spent New Year’s Eve with some college buds – some of whom I had seen as recently as Thanksgiving, others I hadn’t seen since graduating in 2013, and a few I had never met before. We played games, did puzzles, sang karaoke, and ate a beautifully roasted freedom ranger from our freezer. We ended up missing the countdown and ball drop because we were busy sharing our reflections on 2019 and our intentions for 2020. I’m sure some of you are familiar with the game Rose, Thorn and Bud, in which you share your favorite moment, your worst moment, and something you look forward to. I was the first to share, and frankly, I didn’t have to think about it too long.

My Rose was finally getting engaged to my love and life partner, Victoria. My Thorn was the sinking, gutting feeling after the barn burned down – and subsequently telling the whole world that our barn burned down. And my Bud is the wedding that we plan to start planning any day now. These events certainly stood out as the most obvious and dramatic life changes, so I didn’t need to dig very deep into my memories. However, after a bit more reflecting, I realized there were a lot more contenders than I had initially thought.

As it turns out, we had a really packed year. Dozens of things happened this year that would have been obvious Roses or Thorns in any other year of my life. We bottle fed a baby lamb, we got a dog, we had many friends come and we fed them meals made entirely of food that we grew ourselves. We also lost a lot: a family member, a number of animals, crops, and jobs. We dug graves and we witnessed births. It’s hard to believe how much happened! Maybe all these memories were implanted after all… Or maybe this is just life on the farm.

Not all of the drama from last year was farm-related. But I have to say, farming is by far the most dramatic and emotional work I’ve ever done. Farming always exists on the knife’s edge between life and death. When we make mistakes, things die. When we succeed, it’s through the miraculous resilience of our plants and animals – which ultimately, in death, feed us.

This year has been a learning experience for us, which means we’ve cared for a lot of life and witnessed a lot of death. This will be true next year as well, and so on, as long as we remain farmers. If this sounds like a hard pill to swallow, it may be, but please note that death surrounds us always, whether we see it or not. Everything we eat was at one point harvested. As farmers, we are simply a lot closer to that moment of transition than most.

In return, we also get to feel closer to the land and the environment in which our food grows. Never have I felt so much a part of an ecosystem than when I feed animals that will fertilize crops and also feed people in the community. It feels like everything is playing out the way The Lion King’s Mufasa once explained: “When we die, our bodies become the grass, and the antelope eat the grass. So we are all connected in the great circle of life.” When you enjoy our food, you engage in part of that drama – and part of our ecosystem – in much the same way.

Now, who wants lamb?

WHAT’S NEW THIS WEEK:

Egg production still at a low ebb, only a couple dozen available this week.

Time to order lamb: As noted last week, we are sending six to market this month. More will go in February. You can order a whole or half lamb, $7/lb hanging weight, cut by the butcher to your specifications. Please inquire if you have questions about this process or would like to order one.

WHAT’S AVAILABLE THIS WEEK

Tiny hot matchbox peppers, $5.00 a string, dried and quite decorative.
Acorn squash, $2/each
Cheese Pumpkins, $2/lb, 5 to 8ish pounds

EGGS: $5/doz – new orders suspended this week

MEATS: We keep some on hand, but it helps to order ahead in case we need to retrieve from our stash in the big commercial freezer. See below.

GEESE: One remaining, about 8.5 lbs. $10/lb.

ROASTING CHICKENS – Nice fat Freedom Rangers, frozen, largish (4 to 7 lbs, a few smaller), $6/lb.

LAMB: Whole or Half $7/b (hanging weight), Riblets $8/lb, small and larger leg roasts $14/lb,

PORK: Loin pork chops, $12/lb (2 to a pack, btwn 1 and 1.5 lbs),
Spare ribs and country ribs $7/lb
baby back ribs $8/lb
fresh ham roasts (2 to 3 lbs), $12/lb
smoked bacon, $12/lb
Kielbasa $8/lb

FARM PICKUPS:

Email us your order at 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: Reflections
AgriCulture

 
 
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