Saturday, January 14, 2012

A Sense of Place

The young mare wants a new bale of hay.

Vine Grove is a very small city and Rineyville isn't a city by any stretch of the imagination. What I like is the feeling of connection I have in these communities, even though I didn't grow up here.

Today was market day in Vine Grove. I went down to the Farmer's Market to see Dale and pick up a couple of the chickens I raised last summer. Since I was down there, I bought a roll of whole-pig sausage from Dan. When I delivered the poultry, a couple months back, I lent Dale my cages, so I picked up one of those. It was too cold to chat – wind-chills in the single digits will freeze off body parts.

Then I swung over to the Chinese restaurant where my friend Nancy had another cage of mine from when I sold her 3 ducks. She told me how much her family enjoyed the drakes – and how lean and tasty they were.

Once I got home I hitched up the trailer, so I could pick up another round bale for the horses. I talked to Glenn, and we found we had a couple of people in common. Daryl at Rineyville Feed and James Martin in LaRue county.

There is always the weather to talk about, I suppose a city person wouldn't understand that, but if you have animals your life revolves around the weather and if you're a farmer then the weather is the most powerful force in your life.

It took an interesting cut to back the trailer through the gate into the pasture. Hubby didn't think I could make it. (LOL – showed him!) The horses attacked the hay, so hungry I had to slip between their chests and the bale to untie the strings.

For dinner we had one of the chickens. Not one of my best meals. I've never cooked a bird that lean. The dark meat was VERY dark and there wasn't much breast meat. I knew which rooster it was – the skinniest of the lot. It will make good chicken soup, nicely flavored once it's simmered awhile. Next time, I'll know to watch it so the bird isn't overcooked – it has to be just right, can't be ignored while I'm off running errands.

I've made up my mind after eating it; I'm changing chicken breeds. The Barred Rocks are good laying birds but calling them 'dual purpose' is a joke. So I'm going to mail-order about 25 Light Brahma pullets. They are a heavy breed for eating and not bad for laying hens. My Brahma roosters will keep watch over a nice flock.

It's very easy to talk about 'eating local' or 'buying local' when they are buzz-words. Doing it – feeding my horses local feed, eating home raised chicken and pork, these are ways I'm connected to the community.

Like 'putting down roots' these connections make me feel grounded and 'part of' a community. It's a very good feeling.

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