It’s almost Thanksgiving! Are you ready?
Last year, the farm hosted an epic Thanksgiving feast for FIFTY people so this year we are taking Thanksgiving off. We will sit back, let my aunt work her tail off making the meal and hosting our crazy, fabulous family and bask in the gluttony that is Thanksgiving.
But, it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving if we didn’t cook our own bird so Farmer Ross will still fire up the propane heater later this weekend and deep fry our farm raised turkey. We have never raised turkeys before, and quite frankly, we have zero interest in raising turkeys in the future (I have heard horror stories that they are dumb enough to drown in the rain) so we opted instead to help support a neighboring farm, Ode to Joy Farm. If you have never tried a farm fresh turkey, you really should. They are more expensive, but are so worth it!
This year we were invited to help process turkeys at the Ode to Joy Farm. Having never processed turkeys, or even chicken, for that matter I had no idea what to expect. I didn’t expect to like the processing part and was very worried that I would get a bit squeamish during the slaughter part (I had visions of headless turkeys running around the farm). However, the whole process was not nearly as gory as I had envisioned – there were no turkeys running around headless. In fact, Farmer Ross’ little sister Ruby Faye came to help for a bit and even she enjoyed helping out (watch the video of Ruby Faye plucking feathers) !
In the end, I walked away from the experience with a much greater appreciation for what it takes for farmers to raise and process farm fresh turkeys. I also got the opportunity to meet and be inspired by some amazing women who were helping with the processing. A woman from Romania taught the rest of us the handy tricks she learned as a young child watching her parents put food on the table. One of my favorite lady farmers and young mom, processed turkeys and instructed others while wearing her adorable daughter. A lady new to the farming world jumped in and got a little bloody with gusto as she learned a new skill. And of course, the leader of it all, Joyce, orchestrated the whole event and taught us newbies with such grace and simple goodness.
At the end of the day, I went home tired, cold and oh so thankful that I have found a community of people who work hard to live a simple and wholesome life and are deeply connected to the food they eat. Below are some pictures of the process beginning to end. There isn’t a ton of blood in the process but if you are sensitive to blood you may want to skip the pictures 🙂