Sunday, August 28, 2011

Chicken Processing Day Meets Hurricane Irene

The last two days have been pretty exciting. Yesterday we processed our 75 meat chickens, which would have been a daunting enough job without the threat of Irene baring down on us.

Friday, Mom and I harvested as many tomatoes from the garden as we could in anticipation of the storm and sorted them out to store in the garage. We also rushed to stake down and secure the garden. Meanwhile, Dave set up everything necessary for processing day. Our last processing day went pretty well (see here for details), but it took about 16 hours and there were clearly improvements to be made. Also, this time we were processing 75 birds instead of 36. We wanted to make sure that we were completely prepared for so many birds and so we made sure that everything was in order before we went to sleep Friday night. Very thankfully, our bravest friend Marka Kiley came out of Boston to help us for the weekend. Saturday, we all woke up extra early and Dave and I went out in the dark to catch the chickens. We got off to a good start, started the processing at about 6:30 AM and were done by 1 PM. Thanks to Marka's help, as well as several others, we were able to quality control and package the birds as we went, so the second half of the day went quickly and we were completely cleaned up by 5. Mother nature helped us clean by providing some drenching afternoon rains. It was a long day, but satisfying. Processing chickens is never fun, but we did the best job we could. We made sure that the chickens went to their deaths with minimum discomfort and that their meat was treated with the respect it deserves. All of Dave's work planning and preparing really paid off.

Meanwhile, Dave's mom Tammy had four pots of our tomatoes bubbling on the stove all day and into the night, working hard to can, freeze and otherwise preserve as much of our crop as possible. Between her hard work, and my mom's efforts to secure us some big restaurant sales, it looks like none of our tomatoes are going to go to waste.

This morning we got 4 inches of rain, but luckily, the hurricane was tamer than we had feared it would be and, other than a few blown down tomato trellises and (possibly) the loss of our corn crop, it looks like the garden is going to be okay. The chickens are safely in the refrigerator and freezer (we didn't even lose power!) and we can relax - and blog.

Our tomato bounty and Mom's new vespa

Sorting cherry tomatoes
Before (tune in tomorrow for After pics)

Artsy Pic: to remember them by in case they were all blown over 

CHICKEN PROCESSING PICTURES (you've been warned...)

Kill Cones

Our bravest friend Marka
Lynda, another brave friend

Hurricane Irene


  1. You didn't even LOSE power,
    not LOOSE. What are you some kind of illiterate hayseed farmer?

  2. I don't know what you're talking about.