A bit about us...

We are a modern family of three, living on less than two acres with a 3,000 square foot garden that meets our produce needs and allows us to share with friends and neighbors. Our laying flock of chickens seems to expand each year as we raise chicks each Spring to replace older hens. This blog is more of a journal, if you will, for us to chronicle and share our experiences in the yard, garden and kitchen. It is our hope that along the way a few folks might learn something, be entertained, or simply enjoy sharing in our stories and the lessons we learn on a daily basis. I named the blog after the times when I am the happiest, when I am elbow deep in earth.

Monday, July 30, 2012

A trip to Ohio leads to healthy meals

April 30, the chicks I ordered were hatching, so Mom and I made a day trip out of picking them up. The hatchery we ordered from was located in Polk, Ohio. I ordered 25 Cornish x Rocks for meat, 12 laying pullet chicks and Mom chose 8 layers to begin her backyard flock. Our route would take us near Milan, Ohio, so we made it a point to stop there along the way to get a few pictures and drop off my first travel bug in a geocache.

The town was adorable, quaint and even smaller than our Milan, Michigan. We wandered around, looking for a "hitchhiker" for the travel bug. I assumed that since Milan, Ohio is Thomas Edison's birthplace, there would be keychains or something with the name of the town on it available. 
I was wrong. Nothing was open, as it seems the whole town is essentially closed on Mondays. Weird. Additionally, of the three places in the whole town that were open, none of them had anything like what I was looking for. The Edison museum was closed and it was the only place anyone could point me to that might have what I wanted. 

Custom made by Kelly, herself
Dejected, we wandered around a screenprinting shop (Kelly Graphics Design & Print Studio) thinking about what our options might me. As Mom and I headed for the door, the owner stopped me and said, "You know, I could MAKE you a keychain, would that work?" OF COURSE! In minutes, she put together a keychain for me and we were off to find a good spot to leave the TB.  

Just up the street (as everything was, since the town was so small), was Edison's actual birthplace and museum. At the edge of the museum property, there was a geocache just big enough to house my ready-to-be-released TB. I found it, logged it and placed my bug inside. After a quick rehide, we were on our way to pick up our babies. 

I brought several TBs with me to leave in caches along the way, since a couple had goals that involved getting more Easterly in the U.S. We looked for caches big enough to hold the bugs, without much luck. We did locate a nano on a guard rail not far from one of the beautifully done centennial barns Ohio has sprinkled around the state. 

At the hatchery, it became apparent we were nestled smack dab in the middle of some seriously Amish Country. There were several folks inside and a couple of buggies parked outside. I loved that the hatchery actually had hitching posts for the horses next to the auto parking lot. I waited, respectfully, until this woman got entirely into her buggy before I snapped a picture. 

We had rescued (pardon the pun!) a travel bug that was headed for Ground Zero in New York a few weeks before and I wanted to get it headed east, toward its goal. So, after our stop at the hatchery, we set out north and a little east to find a cache suitable to place it in.  

We found an adorable little park in a "town" that had nothing more than a four-way stop and a convenience store. In it, was a cache large enough to hold the bug. There was a neat monument there and it gave us a few minutes to stretch our legs before heading back home for the day. 

Our route through Ohio was full or charming little towns, some just mere villages, and the scenery was just wonderful. We took out time and looked around as we meandered home with boxes of tiny "cheepers" along for the ride. As we passed through the main intersection of one small town, we saw this old truck.

Another neat truck sat near us at a different intersection, just before we got back on the main highway. 

Since it was Monday, Lexi was home when we returned, and she could not have been more excited to see the babies. I brought a few into the house after getting them settled into their new digs (a makeshift brooder in the garage) for a few quick pics. Here is one of the meat birds held in her tiny little hands.

I learned very quickly how adventurous chicks are, even when they are just hours old. I tried confining them in my egg basket for a cute picture, but they hopped out as fast as I could put them back in and grab the camera. Here is the one successful shot I got of two of the layer breed babies...

It was a day full of driving, beautiful scenery and time well spent with Mom. I think if we decide to do meat birds in the fall, I will make another day of picking them up, just to spend the day in the beautiful countryside again.

The meat birds were not a big hit with our family, from a "loving critter" standpoint. They were without personalities, lazy and spent all of their time sitting on, near, or in their food. However, this did make it easier to think of them as food that would nourish us and it made the day we took them to be processed a bit easier. Here is a shot of them a couple weeks before we took them in, doing what they did best.

The day we took them in, we roasted one whole, filled with lemons and onions, and basted it with olive oil, cilantro, lemon and lime juices. I sprinkled that with some garlic pepper (freshly ground) and it was OUTSTANDING! There really is no comparison to store bought meat.

No comments:

Post a Comment