in my kitchen, around the farm
I’m writing this with a not-yet-twenty-four-hours-old duckling in the pocket of my hoodie. He? She? It only stops maniacally peeping when I stick it in my fuzzy pocket where its weighty warmth surrounds the little thing. It’s about as close as I can get to feathers. I’m amazed that this tiny fella’ is still breathing. I found a skunk stealing an egg this morning. Unfortunately, it was a brewing egg. The skunk took a bite and ran when I came up the path. How this little one is still alive, I do not know, but I’m going with it. It’s been a few weeks of births and deaths around here and I’m just about done with the death part of the equation. We’ll see what this black-beaked lightweight is made of.
I came in to write this after a full day of heaving and shovelling in the pouring rain and then the steaming sun. It was a good day. I feel like I earned the big hunk of tender, fatty blade roast I slurped up for dinner. We cleared some long grass to make way for the two lines of low electric fencing sheep require (so much easier with cattle and their one top line). We also almost completed the garden and we moved a lot of compost from where it’s been composting over the last year to where we need some magic this year.
We’ve built some impressive (to us, anyway) hugelkultur beds that will feed our extended fruit orchard. The hugelkultur beds have been a boon to us. We have an incredible amount of wood ends and bits from our mill, we live smack dab in the middle of a forest, and there’s always some tree (elms especially) dying and donating their carcass to the cause. With that, and our composted manure, the system is a natural fit. We just finished building one that’s about 100 metres long. We’re using it to direct water in an otherwise dry, high point in our orchard. We’re transplanting our raspberries to that area come fall.
Last week, after butchering our drakes and a muscovy, I made paté with the livers, tongues, lungs, testicles, spleens, and some dried mushrooms. I added in a couple of bags of duck livers that I had leftover from last year and cooked it with heaping tablespoons of raw butter, some herbs, and some bone broth with a few splashes of vinegar. After I cook my organs all up, I put them through a sieve and rub/scrape/push it through so that my final pate is silky smooth. I thought I’d show you what I do with the crumbly, textured bits that remain in the sieve.