Liver for Latte – or perhaps the most creative barter ever!

(Quick warning…graphic chicken pic below)

Okay so sometimes I think to myself, “nobody has ever had this happen to them”, but the reality is that somewhere in the world whatever it is has probably happened to someone, right? This time I may actually be the only one in the world that this has happened to… The other day I traded a piece of pig liver for a Latte at a local cafe. While I won’t deny that people have likely traded liver for goods at some point or another, I feel I can almost guarantee it was not for a latte!

During this long, in fact ridiculously long, winter we had, many people have had concerns about their cooped up chickens showing stress. Sometimes this comes in the form of hen pecking. We are experiencing this now and since we think it is only happening in the coop we are isolating this girl at night so she isn’t picked on, and in hopes her feathers on the back of her neck will come back. We combated some of this by adding more protein to their diet in the form of pig liver. When my friend at the cafe explained a similar situation, I brought him some pig liver and he traded me a latte. It was a great deal and he said his chickens are doing much better! Definitely my most unique barter ever.

Today I am making chicken soup out of 3 frozen carcasses from our birds, also all the necks from our birds and all the feet. It’s about using everything, and using the feet is in my blood. I grew up in a chicken feet house, my great grandmother, my grandmother and my mother all made broth with chicken feet, so when I butchered the chickens, I carefully wrapped and froze them for the day I would do this.

IMG_0183

Gotta say, hubby gasped a bit when he saw them in the bag on the counter, a bag of 12 feet just looking at him. Hubby did NOT grow up in a chicken feet house.

Weather-wise it is struggling to be Spring, well what I mean is, it looks like Spring but it doesn’t feel much like it yet. We have had a couple of amazing days, sprinkled in with days like today where it is 48 windy and cloudy, and just enough to push us over the edge to build yet another fire. Each one I think, yep that is the last one till next year, but there is always the need for one more. Oh well, I’d rather one more fire, than one more snowstorm which is often the case here in Spring.

Farm updates:

I’ve gotten word from the neighbor that my plants are doing well, some are even ready to plant but it just isn’t warm enough yet. My daughter and I did plant some lettuces and radishes in a cold frame yesterday. i should be able to remove the frame around it over the course of the next couple weeks. So, with garden plants ordered, and seeds in hand, the garden plan is underway. As for chickens, I should get the word on Wednesday when they will arrive, but it will be this week. The arrival of the pigs has been a worrisome situation since we had no back up plan and the people who are raising up our feeders had problems with losses this year. Turns out although we wanted 4 this year, we are going to be very happy with the three we have! By next year we hope to have more connections to heritage breed feeder pigs so that things are a bit more secure. In other news we have a date for our first steer, and that will be the week after the 4th of July. We will be making some changes to the chute to be fully prepared to load him, because…”failure is not an option” this time.  Last week we ordered shiitake spawn and will soon be inoculating the logs. So with chickens here any day and pigs any week, the garden almost ready to be planted and wild greens and roots available starting over the next week, things are definitely gearing up! This year…I will try for more wild foods. The wild parsnip that grows here is apparently genetically the same as the parsnip and we have way more of it than my husband would like, he would like zero wild parsnip plants. But if they are going to be here, why not eat them, right? Hubby found a wild onion patch, I’ve already been adding garlic mustard and dandelion greens to our meals, and I am fully armed with foraging aps so that I can see exact pictures when I am out looking. Yea it’s a bit of a hybrid way to forage but also a pretty safe way to forage!

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