Week 10

 

Before farm school, I ran a food pantry in South Boston that mainly serviced two nearby housing projects. Though I felt of service, I couldn’t shake the feeling that all our efforts were doing little to address the underlying issues that propelled our clients to line week after week up in the predawn hours for their bag of food. So now that I’m at farm school working earnestly toward the righteous cause of providing healthy food in a sustainable manner, all conflict is avoided right?  Not exactly.  Thanks to an intentionally provocative class on Food Justice led by Tyson (at right), our head grower, it turns out . . . CONTINUE READING 

 

 

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This week we got to butcher a pig, which was pretty awesome. You’re looking at a ‘primal cut.’ The top half is called a picnic ham and the bottom is the trotter, or foot. The numbers denote the live weight (399) vs. the hang weight (265), which is the meat minus the guts.

 

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Calvin, the head butcher at The Butcher Shop in Boston, and Chef de Cuisine Michelle guided us through the process. Calvin, who went to culinary school, didn’t get the chance to cut up a pig until he graduated and apprenticed himself to a butcher. So their recommendation was to start on rabbits or squirrels to learn the basics.

 

This rack of pork chops we were to see later in the week.

We revisited this rack of pork chops later in the week . . .

 

Recognize these?

. . . here!

 

This was our Christmas dinner, complete with decorations courtesy of the decorating subcommittee and secret santa gift swap at the end of the night.

We ate them for Christmas dinner, made merry with hand-made decorations and a Yankee Swap gift exchange at the end of the night.

 

Morning chores are getting quite cold these days.

Morning chores are getting quite cold these days.

 

We were on cow duty for this week's chore.  We ordered 70 of these round bales for the winter but instead of them lasting 3 days, the cows are eating through one every 36 hours, which may leave us in a bit of a bind.

I was on cow duty for this week’s chore. The farm ordered 70 of these round hay bales for the winter but instead each lasting three days, the cows are eating through one every 36 hours, which means we might be out of hay by February. We can likely buy more, but it will be at a premium.

 

We also spent a lot of time working on our timber frame structure this week.  And Nice Cat was there to consult.

We also spent a lot of time working on our timber frame structure this week. And Nice Cat was there to consult.

 

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This chicken was a persistent patroller in the greenhouse. We tried to chase her out, but instead of running away like a sensible bird, she head faked and blitzed right through our defensive line.

 

And I found out why later.  Over the last week, she had laid a clutch of eggs in-between our seedling flats and her mothering instinct was so strong that she was going to sit on them whether or not we wanted her to.  The next 3 months would be a touch time to have chicks, but I didn't have the heart to kick her off.

Later, I discovered why. She’d hidden a clutch of eggs behind our seedling flats and her brooding instinct was so strong that she was going to sit on them come hell, high water or yelling student farmers. Though the next three months will be a tough time to have chicks, I didn’t have the heart to kick her off.

 

She has also developed mastitis in the process of drying off, which can be deadly if not treated quickly.  These are antibiotic infusions which we injected into each teat.  Patience is no longer organic.

Sadly, Patience developed mastitis this week in the process of drying off, which can be deadly if not treated quickly. These are antibiotic infusions which we injected into each teat. This treatment invalidates her milk’s organic status.

 

The winter solstice, the shortest day of the year, came on December 21st.  And we celebrated the coming of spring with a 6 am bonfire!

The winter solstice, the shortest day of the year, came on December 21st. So we celebrated the coming of spring with a 6am bonfire!

 

No story here.  Just a pretty barn photo from the cab of our truck.

No story here. Just a pretty barn photo from the cab of our truck.

 

No sunrise photos this week, but did find a rainbow on cow chores coming out of the valley.

No sunrise photos this week, but did get a nice rainbow during afternoon cow chores.

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