Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Getting ready for my first ever Thanksgiving

Photo from Weathertop Farm

Can you BELIEVE it's November? I can't. Though I appreciate it, because it means I get to take a breather at work.

It's only November 6th, but if you haven't ordered your local turkey yet you are cutting it close. I had to order mine in October from Weathertop farm. They sell at the Blacksburg Farmers Market and I placed my order there. And it's a good thing I did, because I had a close encounter with the industrial food system that made me really uncomfortable just a few days later. I was driving from Blacksburg to Richmond for a meeting and I kept noticing all these feathers blowing around. I had a sinking feeling, I knew what that meant. I thought it would be a chicken truck, but it was a turkey truck. They were in very small cages and stacked about 12 high, open to the elements and going 75 was just really awful. Then a few miles later I saw a pig truck, which I have never seen before. One pig was sticking his nose out the side of the truck, sniffing the wind. It looked so pathetic, that pink nose.

Listen, I am not a vegetarian. I go to Subway's and eat hamburgers like many people. My husband on the other hand eats only local, humanely raised meat. As you know we are both from an urban area and have been spared these sights for most of our lives. Now when I see these trucks zooming up I-81 it gives me a lot to think about. I know the effects this system we have has on the animals, not to mention the environment and the people who work there. Do I want to be a part of that? I'm starting to think no. What other people do is up to them but I have seen things that just made my heart sink. Think of that pink nose people. THINK OF THE NOSE. Did that nose spend any time in some grass? I doubt it.

So guess how excited I was when it finally got to be turkey pick up day? We drove all the way out to Check, Virginia, which let me tell you is a bit of a hilly, lonesome hike. We made it though. And the farm was so beautiful! We were greeted with the sight of a bunch of hens happily foraging in a pen. The views from the farm were amazing too, just all hills and clouds. Appalachia at it's finest. We picked out our bird, a 10.5 pounder, and it was fresh and not frozen! I am researching all the ways to cook a turkey like this one, as the recipe is a bit different than your "traditional" bird. (Isn't it weird what gets called traditional ag?) I'll keep you posted on what recipe I choose. Either way I will rest easy knowing my bird lived it's life on one farm, enjoying a wonderful view.

What do you think? Have you ever seen parts of our food system that make you think twice? If not, are you happy to be insulated from it? Are you purchasing a local turkey this year? If you're not, was it the price that turned you away? I'd like to know your thoughts!