The thirty degree weather outside is positively balmy this morning. There’s almost no need for hat or gloves to keep warm moving in and out of the barns during morning chores. We faired well in the cold temperatures this past week. A little extra food and attention to water and a lot of extra worrying by the farmers, but all ran smoothly. We have new heaters installed in the bank barn. Thanks to Mac for loaning us a temporary heat source last week, just enough to take the edge off of the chilly pick-up. I won’t say it is toasty in there quite yet, but we’re always one step closer.
Baking with Leaf Lard
This is the last pickup before Christmas dinner. So load up on your meal fixings—potatoes, squash, onions and leeks. I rendered a fresh batch of leaf lard for pie baking yesterday. Leaf lard comes from the fat that wraps around the kidneys of pigs. It is really flaky fat that isn’t at all greasy—many bakers swear by it for the best crusts, biscuits and all of their other baking needs. One expert pie baker I know prefers to use half leaf lard and half butter in her crusts—the lard provides the perfect texture and the butter gives great flavor.
Drowning in Chickens
We are drowning in chickens doesn’t sound quite accurate. But we do have freezers full heading into winter, far more than we need this year. So, we are offering a deal on broiler chickens, $5 per pound (most average about four pounds). Meat and non-meat members buy one for your holidays guests or stock yourself up for the winter. They make great gifts for the person on your list who has everything.
Winter Share Begins Soon
We have one more week of the regular share season. The final pick-up for “summer” members will be next Thursday, December 26th, the usual time and place. January will begin the winter share—new root veggies and dry beans will make their appearance. Scrapple will be following shortly.
In the Farm Shares
In the veggie share: kale, parsnips, winter squash, leeks, potatoes, cabbage, onions, garlic, carrots, beets, sage, wheat flour and wheat berries.
In the meat share: All cuts of pork and beef, half and whole broiler chickens in the freezer. Fresh bacon is ready. Freshly rendered leaf lard.
- Full and By Farm: Readying for Winter (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Full and By Farm: Rejoicing in Light (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Full and By Farm: Barn Building Continues (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)