They keep coming and I still feel the hole in my life of not having a job to go to. Not that I don’t have enough of a job here to keep me busy, I surely do. We have one more nice day before all hell breaks loose. Hurricane Ida is supposed to sweep through the Carolinas tomorrow and Wednesday bringing heavy rain and wind. We’ve had a lovely stretch of warm and sunny weather and it has spoiled me.
This morning, while reading Rosemoon’s Blog, I saw on her side bar some information on the practice of “gleaning” to help feed hungry families. “Gleaning often means harvesting what a farmer can’t sell, such as produce that has a bruise or mark on it. Sometimes the vegetable may be the wrong size (too large or small) or the wrong shape. Other times, farmers simply overplant and don’t have time to harvest it all.” Reading the article brings to mind how much food I see being thrown away by restaurants and grocery stores. It’s beyond disgusting what they throw away. Food that is perfectly good for humans or animals. For example, one of the local supermarkets carry Strauss brand veal and lamb. It’s quite high priced, likely too much so for the local community, yet they keep carrying it because the corporate offices says they have to. When it gets close to the sell-by date, they mark it down a few dollars, but it’s still expensive. So it doesn’t get sold. Once it reaches the sell-by date, does the supermarket do with it? They throw it away!!!! The meat manger told me last week that they threw away $300 worth of veal and lamb!!!! All that meat that they could have marked down to half or even quarter price and sold it, but they did not. I assume they can get more back if they write off the expense of the meat rather than marking it down to below their cost. Damn! All those calves and lambs who gave their lives, whatever poor-quality lives they may have lead, and the meat gets thrown away! The same thing happens in the produce section. If I’m in a store and see a garbage can full of vegetable scraps, I’ll often pull the plastic bag out of the can and stuff it under my grocery cart. Petunia is very happy to get the vegetables. I’ve tried to buy these scraps for $.05 (or whatever) a pound, but they won’t sell it to me. Once it hits the can, they can’t sell it. This is due to Health Department regulations … but I’m feeding it to a pig!!!
How wasteful (stupid) is our society?
I was thinking last night about how I spoke of Split’s excessive flanking and in my mind compared her to Cian and Kessie. They both flanked excessively, but it was a different sort of excess, it was more frantic and frequently, they couldn’t move the sheep no matter how much they flanked. Split moves the sheep, there’s no question about that. When I looked back at the video of Fern working at six months old, I see that she was doing the exact same thing that Split is now. Fern doesn’t do that any more. In fact, it’s hard to get her to flank at all. So, I think this is nothing more than “puppy” work. Even though Split is almost as old as Fern, she seems much younger, more like a puppy.
I did get all three dogs on the agility field for a few minutes yesterday. Split is learning to tug and I think in time, she’ll be a tugging fiend. Fern did well. Gel has forgot he knew how to weave. Those damned weave poles. I might bring a jump in to the house and tomorrow, while it is raining, see if I can shape Split to go over it. She’s willing to do what I ask, she simply hasn’t done anything other than run like a fool and kill chickens until she came here.
The doe who was in for breeding went home yesterday afternoon so all I have to milk this morning is three does. After milking six or seven two times a day for so long, to milk just three once a day is going to feel very funny. I made one more batch of cheese yesterday and that may be it for the season. I’m going to play around with cheese from cow milk. Petunia loves whey. I soak her grain in it (which ferments it, making it easier for her to digest). If the cheese doesn’t come out, I have plenty of critters who will be happy to eat it.
I just took a break from writing to pick the meat off the bones of the turkey and get carcass soup going (think of how many turkey carcasses are thrown away this time of year; turkey or chicken carcasses make the best soup broth) and read a bit more on making hard cheese. I’m going to do it … tomorrow if I can get Wally to cut me a piece of PVC and a wooden follower … I’m going to do it!!!!
Back to the carcass soup. I believe I wrote about this last year at this time, but many, many (MANY) years ago, I flew down to Puerto Rico with a male friend to meet his parents who were living on their sailboat. We sailed from PR to the British Virgin Island. It was incredibly beautiful. The boat did not have refrigeration so keeping food was a bit of a trick. Whenever we went into port, we shopped for fresh food and bought blocks of ice for the ice chest. Every day, the leftovers from our supper went into a soup pot that she kept on the stove and every day, she brought the pot to a full boil and let it boil for a while (to kill any bacteria). In a few days, we had the thickest, richest, most flavorful soup I’ve ever eaten. I do the same thing with my turkey carcass soup. First I boil the carcass with some celery, onions and carrots and the broth from the turkey pan. After simmering for a few hours, I remove the bones and celery and add the leftover vegetables from our dinner last night and bring it to a full boil again. Tomorrow I’ll add some more vegetables (leftovers from our supper) and bring it to a boil. On Wednesday, I’ll add cut up turkey and more vegetables and finish the soup. Add a loaf of fresh bread and you have an amazing meal (a f*cking fabulous meal). Much of the soup will go in the freezer, some I’ll give away to neighbors and even the dogs will get some of it.
I guess I had better go and milk those goats.
Until later …