October 22, 2014

Real Food | Real Farmers

No. 3

Kerry and Leighann of Blue Yarn Farm

Kerry and Leighann moved from the Northwest to live the good farm life just outside of Dallas. Interestingly, Leighann and I had both spent time in a quirky, remote town on the Puget Sound called Port Townsend. Now she and Kerry run Blue Yarn Farm near Denton where they keep chickens, turkeys, ducks and a few goats. 

Paul's farm is in Celeste, Texas

The birds flock around Leighann. She grooms them and they trust her. 

Paul's farm is in Celeste, Texas
Paul's farm is in Celeste, Texas

This chicken just totally went limp and submitted when Leighanntook the bird into her lap. Total trust. These are egg laying birds. They will not be slaughtered for meat.

Paul's farm is in Celeste, Texas

I love Blue Yarn's duck eggs. Duck eggs are slightly larger than chicken eggs, the yolks are bigger and the flavor is a bit richer. Great for baking! The ducks don't roost like chickens, laying eggs in a specific spot. To find the eggs, you have to walk around their range looking in "typical" spots. Both chickens and ducks will slow their laying when it is super hot. So, egg production goes down in Texas in August and September. Especially for the ducks. They are like, naaaaahhhh.

 

EGG TIP : Good eggs can last a year+ refrigerated and 5+ months stored on your counter at room temperature. In Europe, eggs are never refrigerated - they sit out on a regular shelf in the store. Not sure why Americans store theirs in the fridge as the norm.  

Paul's farm is in Celeste, Texas
Paul's farm is in Celeste, Texas

Roosters serve an important purpose in a flock. These chivalrous males guard their girls with their life. Literally. If there is a threat of prey, say - a hawk circling overhead...the rooster will alert the ladies to run and hide and noisily flail in the direction of the prey to distract, even if it means getting sntached up to his death. Nature, huh?

Paul's farm is in Celeste, Texas

Chickens just love to feed on fruit & veggie scraps. I saw this at Good Earth, too. They will kind of eat anything. The day I was visiting Blue Yarn, a neighbor brought over a box of produce a grocer was tossing because it was bruised and such. The chickens were happy to eat it up! This type of natural, varied diet is what makes pastured chicken eggs so healthy and delicious. And, of course, the happy roaming life, sunshine and fresh air contribute, as well. 

Paul's farm is in Celeste, Texas
Paul's farm is in Celeste, Texas
Paul's farm is in Celeste, Texas

Last but not least, meet Leighann's turkey. This bird will live to a ripe old age because the turkey loves Leighann and Leighann loves the turkey. He will chase other people away to have her all to himself!

 

I found it fascinating to see a turkey in person. It is amazing (and disheartening) that such an exotic, large, bird is known to most as just a common lunch meat. Its feathers are gorgeous, so soft, and the firm, spongey head texture and shape is downright prehistoric

Paul's farm is in Celeste, Texas

Know where your food comes from. 

Get educated about what "conventional" and "factory farm" production actually mean.

Once you know, you won't want that in your body. And we should all know.

 

Support real farmers, seek them out. They are everywhere working their asses off to bring us clean, sustainable, healthy food. Cheers to Leighann, Kerry and the many others like them!

Stay tuned for the next edition of Real Food | Real Farmers.

 

-Stephanie

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