9/1/04 Vol. 1 #24

Yahoo! we finally made it to September!  I thought August would never end, now we just have to get past this damned hurricane season!  I comment often on how, in the 23 years that we have been farming, we have seen every extreme weather record broken- the coldest ever, the hottest ever, the deepest snow, etc.  I have not researched the records but I don’t remember ever having four of the first seven storms come across North Carolina and now Frances will probably impact us in one way or another, it has to be some kind of record.  The 3.2 inches of rain we got from Gaston has things pretty well soaked.  We went down to harvest winter squash yesterday and just about got the tractor stuck in the field and what was left of the tomatoes is pretty ugly now.

We want to thank everyone who came out to (or tried to, as it was sold out) the Slow Food Dinner at Pop’s restaurant last Wednesday to raise money to help cover our part of our airfare to Italy in October.  It was good food even if it was louder than a rock concert in that room!  I have had several people ask how they can make direct donations and it can be done to the local Slow Food chapter.   Betsy and I are a little taken aback by this fund raising stuff, maybe farmer pride, as we are just so used to making our own way.  Thank you all again.

The turkeys have been totally integrated this week, moved to yet another field and now allowed to roam together.  Everyone is getting along fine and the heritage birds don’t seem to notice the new white intruders sidling up next to them on the roosts at night.  The reservation forms and deposits are beginning to come in and about a third have been reserved already.  Those of you who had birds last year I do need to have your information (that is if you want a turkey this year) so that I don’t screw up and not hold the right size turkey for you (my memory is not what it used to be).  I do have a record of what kind and size you had last year if that helps you any.  I also realized that those of you who have never had a locally produced pastured turkey might want a little more info on how they compare to each other to help in making the decision on which bird is the one for you.  Last years experience taught us that all of them were excellent and far superior tasting to any other turkey we had ever eaten.  That being said there are three major differences between the heritage birds and the whites.  First is size, the heritage turkeys will not be any larger than about 15 pounds and the whites will not be any smaller than 15 pounds.  Second, the heritage birds have a higher ratio of dark meat to white meat for those of you dark meat lovers, this is not to say there is not a lot of white meat just not the huge breasts of the whites.  Third, the meat is firmer and more full flavored on both types that what you may have had in the past, with the heritage birds having the chewier (not tough) dark meat and more flavor overall.  I hope this helps, in addition here is a link to three New York Times articles about the heritage birds with the third one a taste comparison of eight birds. http://www.slowfoodusa.org/nytarticle.html

Picture of the Week

Even on a drab day the celosia are incredibly vivid.

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