One minute we were in the throes of Christmas festivities and New Year fun and then WHAM! February 1st stole in right under our noses and with it brought the first glimpse of Spring. This past weekend, while turbulent weather rolled around the country, Galway caught a break and had a few days of sharp bright baby blue skies.
It was so much easier to bolt out the door (still with a raincoat) to catch a few rays of sun. This time of year, we spend a lot of time talking about the vegetable garden. We have a few seeds planted indoors and they are sitting near the radiators in a spare bedroom. Our outdoor veggies are thriving. Leeks and Cabbage and sprouting Broccoli to beat the band—quite telling of the mild winter we have just sent packing.
This year, we are planning on adding a few more chickens to the flock. We have been farming Muscovy ducks for the last three years and have a great system in place when it comes time to finishing the birds and getting them ready for the freezer or the table. Now it is time to work on adding a bit more variety to the flock. We already have a few gorgeous Le Bresse chickens right now, and they are fabulous laying birds as well as meat birds.
We also have a few Australorps and plan on going to a few poultry fairs over the coming month to see if anything catches our interest. And we also have had great success in raising several Turkeys for Thanksgiving and Christmas, but the birds I am most excited about this Spring is our Goose Pippin and his new mate, Goosey Lucy. We found her over Christmas holidays at a poultry fair in Athenry. She settled in very quickly and has already started to look for a nice place to build her nest. I foresee a clutch of Goslings in our future!
This past winter was the first time the kids (all four of them) got involved in the killing, plucking, cleaning and processing of the birds. We were very proud of them and hope it is a skill they will hold on to, because it is becoming more and more important for all of us to remember where our food is coming from.
While we have never been all that big on making new year’s resolutions, we have already made a huge effort to rid the house of processed foods. I know this sounds like an impossible task, but even just cutting out the crappy sweets for the kids and giving them homemade sweet treats instead has made the kids quite happy.
I’ll leave you this time around with only one thing to mull over until next month. Just ask yourself, if there was one thing you could change about the food you are eating every day what would that be? Want it to be fresher, local, cheaper, tastier?
If you find yourself wanting to make a few changes, then start small. Plant a few seeds, and take a class on how to make a few basic sauces or sign up for a box scheme from one of our local vegetable growers.
If you are looking to while away a few minutes why not watch this award winning (8 minute) film on the food waste problem in the US. It is a real eye opener.
Until the next time, all the best.