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Archive for April 18th, 2014

Turkey Tracks: Mid April Update

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Turkey Tracks:  April 18, 2014

Mid April Update


I’ve had a busy few weeks, and it’s been fun.

First of all, Rosie, my Copper Black Maran has decided to lay her super dark brown eggs again.  Aren’t they pretty?



Rosie is the last CBM I have.  Remember that we lost her rooster to the fox last spring…

CBMs are not great layers, but they are big, happy hens and very social.

It might be time to think about getting some more from Tom Culpepper in Georgia…

Along with the beef broth–which is on the blog post just before this one–I made a shredded veggie lacto-fermented mixture, as mine is all gone now.  I used cabbage, including a red one which will make the mixture such a lovely red in a few days, garlic, carrots, and a bunch of kale.   Here it is in the bowl, all kneaded until it is juicy and ready to load into jars:


I have two kinds of jars I like to use–a regular old wide-mouth Mason jar and a fancier Fido jar with a bailer and rubber sealer.  I thought I’d have enough mixture for a half-gallon jar, but no.  Thus the quart jar:


Here’s a little video of Pumpkin, my rooster, who is amazing with the hens.  You can hear him telling them to “come eat this food,” and if you watch carefully, you’ll see him pick up food and hold it up for them to see that it’s “ok.”



I make a run up to Belfast to the Belfast Coop every ten days or so.  The Coop carries the dog food I use:  raw ground WHOLE chicken–bones, skin, organs, the works.  The girls THRIVE on this food.  You’d never know to look at them that they are 11 and 12 years old.  Here’s what their good looks like:


I have an old pair of boots that I bought for $10 at a kind of shoe-thrift store back in Virginia over 15 years ago.  They are my “chicken boots”–and survive ice and mud in rough weather.  I think I’ve gotten and will continue to get my money’s worth.  I’m still using heavy gloves when I go out for chicken duty morning and evening:


Remember this rug I braided on the fashioned loom?  It’s still going strong…

The wild turkeys have broken up into small bands now.  I have one male who is hanging around with his band–probably because they are still feeding on discarded coop bedding and the odd treats I throw to the chickens.  At night he roosts in one of the pines just beyond the stream.  And he calls to me when I come out to lock up the chickens.

Here’s one video I took of him the other day.  He’s perpetually “puffed up” these days:

And one of him with some of his hens.  His tail is looking a bit ragged.  I heard two males fighting at dusk up on the hill last week–they seemed to be hitting heads/necks/wings.  Hard to tell :


Soon the hens will sit on eggs, and I will not see much of them until next winter–except for the odd crossing across a road here and there.

Turkey Tracks: Beef Bone Broth Today

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Turkey Tracks:  April 17, 2014

Beef Bone Broth Today


This morning I started a beef bone broth.

A good bone broth is chock full of all sorts of minerals and fats that your body LOVES!

I started with beef bones, celery, onions (skin on if they are clean), carrots.  I cook them at about 400 until they are brown and toasty.  Stir once or twice.




The white circle in the middle of the bone is the marrow–and that’s from where gelatin comes.  Gelatin is, again, chock full of nutrients that are good for you.


Here’s what the bones look like after cooking:


DO NOT DISCARD THIS FAT IT IS REALLY, REALLY GOOD FOR YOU.  Good fat provides a constant, steady source of energy–unlike the energy from sugar which yo-yos you up and down and causes problems with your hormones, like how your insulin reacts.

Put the ENTIRE contents of this pan into a large pot and add water, something acid (a little wine or vinegar helps extract the minerals), and some salt.

Look at the lovely dark color of this broth:


I will simmer this broth for 12 to 24 hours.  Add water as needed.  Turn it off when you leave the house or when you go to bed.  It can sit overnight UNCOVERED in its pan overnight.  Just reheat in the morning and start simmering again.

When you’re ready, strain the broth.  I have a big strainer I like to use.  Throw away the bones and spent veggies.  DON’T GIVE COOKED BONES TO DOGS.

Use the broth, or freeze some of it.  Don’t fill a Ball Jar too full or it will split open in the freezer.  Leave plenty of room.

I’m going to make a hearty stew with this batch of broth–leeks, roasted tomato sauce from my stash, mushrooms, lamb stew meat, some dried tomatoes and zucchinis I dehydrated last summer, carrots–and that is as far as I have gotten in thinking about the stew today.



Written by louisaenright

April 18, 2014 at 12:25 pm