Thursday, October 30, 2008

hello winter

I woke up yesterday morning to a few inches of fresh snow. I took a shot of the chicken coop and the bunny hutch, you can see the little kits' eyes peeping through the hutch's den. I've never lived in a place where winter beat Halloween to the punch. But Vermont sees to have that down. This morning snow is still on the ground. The sheep have little iced-dreadlocks around their faces. The dogs are beside themselves with joy. I think snow brings out the soul of a Siberian huskie. Jazz and Annie hold their heads higher when I bundle up. This morning in the dark of our morning walk we broke out into a run when we hit our lane and that sense of silent cold running came back to me. The way it feels to run dogs at night. Soon enough snow will fall to coat the roads and my little team will harness up our dogsled. We'll meet with my neighbors team of siberians and we'll rip up these Sandgate roads. Soon Enough.

Also, I'm sorry but I won't be writing about the turkey here anymore. It opened a huge can of worms with my family. I know this is a homesteading blog but I'm not going to keep talking about things that constantly upset my loved ones. I just know when lambs go to the butcher in a few years it'll be a lot worse! Writing about the processing won't help that. Perhaps in the next book (knocking on nearby wood as I type this)I'll tell you about that morning, and blackie the pet calf who was by my side.


Blogger Chicken Mama said...

Dear Jenna,

I'm sorry to hear that your detailed turkey processing post was difficult for your family . . . and then you, in turn. Sounds like you might be the proverbial black sheep of the family! But, either way, YOU GO, GRRRRL! We need to stay true to ourselves. And, I know that's particularly difficult when you're "on your own" and don't have someone right there by your side to back you up . . . especially when the ones who are usually in your corner (the fam) are the ones you're - directly or indirectly - butting heads with).

On the blog I write about our homesteading lifestyle (such as it is), I had complaints when I posted about butchering some of our chickens - following each of the steps from live chicken to food on the table. I had a girlfriend complain, "Okay, that's just TOO much information! I prefer to live in the world that believes that my food is wrapped in cellophane in the grocery store's meat section - and has been that way all its life." Try as we might, we can't do anything to change those ways of thinking. :( But, I firmly believe that knowledge is power, so keep putting the knowledge out there. Another reader (family member) stopped reading my blog when I posted a picture of a fresh moose carcass we'd found . . . and thought was so intriguing due to the QUICK way the wolves and eagles and ravens, etc. picked it clean. What can you do but shrug and say, "Oh, well!" and continue on?

I know you have to soothe the ruffled family feathers (ha! NO pun intended!), but I think I'd be tempted to take that wonderfully humanely-raised turkey to another family who would appreciate it . . . and you! (Truly, no offense meant to your family.)

In closing, I missed the deleted post, too, and would love to receive it. I'm at

Keep on keepin' on, Jenna!

October 30, 2008 at 10:41 AM  
Blogger pleintexasgirl said...

Jenna, You are not alone. My 28 year old daughter still brings up the fact that I had Violet (our 275# sow) butchered to feed us. Some people cannot wrap their minds around where the grocery store food comes from. My conviction is that it is healthier and more humane to raise livestock at home to be used as food. Your turkey had a happy, healthy life (as did Violet). My daughter married a city boy and she chooses to live in Suburbia, sitting in front of a tv. We are all so different, aren't we? I agree with chicken mama, and have done similar things (being an artist I have found the beauty in the cycle of life in nature) much to the horror of family. My son-in-law is still traumatized from finding a ziplock bag containing my lavender Gouldian in the freezer. I had saved her to share her beauty with my grandkids (being dead was the only way she would let us touch her...) and to use her for anatomy drawings. Keep going Jenna, there are a lot of us out there that are not related by blood, but united in our beliefs of a more natural, healthy sustainable living.

October 30, 2008 at 12:28 PM  
Blogger Tom Open said...

Hello Jenna,

Great blog! I really enjoy reading about your experiences. You are a couple years ahead of where I would like to be so I am very information hungry and really looking for the details. That includes the good, the bad and the ugly to some. I can see both sides of the issue on whether to post about the reality of the turkey processing and such. On the one side some people including family maybe shouldn't have to see those details if they are just scrolling down your blog trying to catch up on the latest happenings in your life. On the other side are the people who could really benefit by knowing the full story. I could be wrong but I get the impression that you would like to talk about the whole experience but not at the risk of bothering someone who has strong feelings against it? So . . . I was wondering if perhaps there was away for everyone to win? Is it possible to discuss the process without it being in the main content area? Perhaps a link to the processing details that clearly explains that some people who do not want to read about that part of the life cycle may not want to click here. Bet with your prose and website design skills the complete story could be told without offending anyone.

Just a thought and thanks so much for taking the time to tell us all about your adventures.

Take care,

(not Tom the turkey though :)

October 30, 2008 at 2:13 PM  
Blogger Chicken Mama said...

Excellent idea, Tom - I'm all for that, too!

October 30, 2008 at 2:31 PM  
Blogger Mama Pea said...

Jenna -

You already know I support you 100%in ALL your endeavors so I won't comment more on that now . . . but I do have to comment on the snow picture. I'M SO JEALOUS! It's so beautiful. Our winter's here in northern Minnesota have been becoming wimpier with less and less snow. We joke we are going to move somewhere where we can have a good, old-fashioned snow-filled winter.

Your pictures are great. Keep 'em coming! Throw a few snowballs to Jazz and Annie for me.

Mama Pea

October 30, 2008 at 6:58 PM  
Blogger jessajune said...

I've come late to the party - but this very weekend we're going to slaughter our home-raised chickens for the first time. I have definitely found that many people don't want to think about the process and are horrified. And in truth, I'm hardly looking forward to the process. But to me, as a meat eater, I feel that a) I eat dead animals, and I need to be honest with myself about what that means, for my own good and out of respect to the animal, and b) I know that these chickens have had a longer, happier life than any of the ones you find in their Styrofoam containers in the store.

So I agree with you and think you're on the right track. Hopefully by exposing people to these ideas we can encourage people to think about what they eat.

April 24, 2009 at 4:26 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home