Sunday, October 16, 2011

Farmwife's Journal - October 16th

Last Thursday was spent preparing for our Friday farmer's market (in the afternoon) and butchering 100 chickens (in the morning). Everything HAD to be done by Thursday evening because butchering was starting at 6:30am!

I got up at 5am on Friday morning. Wanting everyone to have a hearty breakfast in their bellies before we started butchering, I ground some flour and made homemade waffles for everyone. Then I made a big pot of Italian Vegetable soup, knowing I would not have any time in my day to make lunch. Thankfully I had a loaf of herb bread in the freezer. This meal would serve as lunch and dinner.

Under lights, we started butchering on time. It was about 45 degrees. Gutting is not so bad on cold days because the chickens are warm and they keep your hands warm. Inspecting, the job Em and I do, was not super pleasant. :) The well water was cold, but the air was even colder. When our fingers were too numb to pull out pin feathers, we would stand over the wood stove in the market building and thawed them out. I kept thinking about a CD we had listened to earlier in the week called The Endurance. It's the story of Shackleton and his men getting stranded in the Antarctic. The trials they went through were unimaginable, and they made my apparent sufferings seem so foolish. Trying to keep my perspective, I was determined not to utter a complaint, but still a few managed to sneak out. :(

I try (and fail regularly) to be an example to my kids in this area, especially my boys. The last thing I want to do is raise wimpy boys! Thankfully my husband is a great example to them!  It is pathetic to see a grown man who doesn't like to work and who won't just suck it up and do whatever needs to get done!   When my children say, "I don't feel like doing such and such." I always say, "It's good to do things you don't feel like doing!" It makes us disciplined and helps us to grow in character. So obviously, I am still growing in this area! :)

We were done with the butchering by 10am. Then we hustled to clean up our mess and clean up ourselves. At noon we opened up the market and the day was a whirlwind. :) We were blessed with lots of customers! The day was filled with conversations with friends who we get to see weekly and those who drive out once or twice a year to pick up poultry. Visiting with friends it the best part of the day! :)

When I got up Saturday morning my whole body ached (see I am still complaining!). :) You would think that I would be used to busy Fridays by now, but not so! Friday morning was so cold and Saturday morning was even colder. Today we had another 124 chickens to butcher. Customers came from 2-4pm to pick up their birds. Once the market was over and everything cleaned up, we showered, ate, and crashed! :)

Honestly, there are some times when we wonder why in the world we are doing this! It's a lot of work! But then when we get letters or emails like the one below, we are encouraged.

I just wanted to thank you again for your hard work and care in providing us organic produce and free range chickens. Thank you feels so inadequate for the hours of love and labor you put in for all of us to benefit from. Yes, I know we pay you, but still I wanted you to know how appreciative we are of your sacrifices. Please share this with your children. I praised God with Emily for the business you had today! May it help supply for your needs. I pray after a very hard day emotionally and physically that you feel blessed and encouraged in doing good for God’s children!


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