Sunday, August 8, 2010

First Rabbit Butchered, First Farmer's Market & Catch-Up Blog

I am not sure what sort of wildness is in the air but life has been insane lately.  We're just going with it, but I'm hoping that winter brings a bit of calm to our life. 

We are moving into canning/harvest season, and I'm so excited to put up new things like Rhubarb Orange Jam, Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Filling and Fennel Relish.  Those are just what I've decided on doing today.  We'll can some pickled beets too because they're a favorite! 

We did our first Farmer's Market the 31st of July and were really successful.  The funniest part of selling was that catnip (which I took on a whim) was our bestseller.  Catnip.  I had to laugh.  Since we are overflowing with rhubarb, I also took some rhubarb cobbler kits and sold two of the three.  I was pretty excited about them because they were our first "value-added" product and they sold!  It was good to talk to people about what our goals are, where we are now and whats in the works for this coming season - I can now talk about these things much more smoothly than before.  My friend Christina sold her beautiful bags and other hand-sewn products across the way from us, and we met several other vendors (of course) so it was interesting to see what was available.  I am not certain we will be doing a booth there more this summer - though I certainly enjoyed it - simply because of the time requirement and because I cannot take the kids down at this point.  Richard took them home this time, but had to take the day off to do so, and as far as economics goes, it makes much more sense to have him work than sell produce for half the income.  Once this kids are bigger this won't be a consideration, but until then, unless we have more high-dollar items to sell, we're undecided on how much we'll be going down.  I am a bit disappointed by this but ultimately enjoy selling from home much more.

Last night I butchered one of our two young bucks.  Initially used the "broomstick" method for killing them, but didn't do it correctly so ended up taking thirty seconds (forever! i don't really know how long) to kill a rabbit that should have taken five.  Not the best deal.  I felt horrible that it wasn't as quick as it should have been, but learned and will be better with the next one.  Killing something with your hands is much different than shooting it.  More intimate, which made me more thankful because I felt the life leave.  Earlier this week I cooked a Foster Farms chicken, and was disgusted by the unhealthy smell of it - so much so that I almost threw it away.  Processing the rabbit I was struck by how clean and healthy the meat looked and smelled, and  it made me happy that we are providing that quality for our family.  If we all had an intimate knowledge of the animals that we ate, I'm certain there would be much lower consumption nationally.  We're going to fry it tonight, so I will post on the quality/taste etc then.  We will be butchering the second buck this week sometime between Tuesday and Thursday, hopefully it goes much much quicker!!