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Quote of the Day: Manny Howard

August 18th, 2013

The Farm will remove me from the consumer loop. The locavore’s dilemma is that, for all this thoughtful action, he’s still a consumer. The Farm will put me one step deeper, make me the producer. Once food is tied to work and not money, even -worst case- its scarcity will teach the family something.

Manny Howard from My Empire of Dirt: How One Man Turned His Big-City Backyard into a Farm

Yesterday was the day for a few of our broiler chickens to become food.  It could certainly be easier and cheaper to buy chickens from a local farmer already processed and ready for the oven, but we choose to do this for ourselves.  We also slaughter them ourselves, right here.  It would only cost me a few dollars to have a local processor do this task for me, but then I’d have to drive the birds to their location.  I also wouldn’t be able to retain the feathers, blood and some of the offal.  It also gives me the ability to know exactly how the animal lives and dies, if I’m going to eat meat, I want to make sure it’s raised responsibly.
Chicken Slaughter 1
We also like to raise and slaughter them ourselves because we can use the entire animal.  While they’re growing they mow our grass and provide valuable manure for our soil.  When slaughtered, the feathers get composted as do some of the entrails.   The blood also makes a great addition to the compost pile, or you can dilute it and water plants with it as it’s full of nitrogen.
Chicken Slaughter 2
Our neighbor brought up his old rooster for us to process as well, he wanted someone to get some use out him.  He will sustain the resident Chiots for a few days.
Chicken Slaughter 3
Another reason we do things like this for ourselves is because it teaches us what’s involved in making our food.  It’s very true that the more you have to work for your food, the less of it you will waste and the more you appreciate your food.  Not a feather from these birds will go to waste.

Has growing your own food made you appreciate more and waste less? 

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.