Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Move Over Farmville, I Milked a Real Cow

Saturday was girl family bonding day. Mom, sis, sister-in-law, daughter, and moi did something truly unique. We had dinner with my Amish poultry 'dealer'.

So here's how it happened...Years ago a small group of Amish families moved from Pennsylvania and Ohio to Lyndonville, NY. No fallings out, just cheap land and lots of it. They have a nice furniture store, lumber mill with custom cabinetry, a general store or two, and a bakery. My parents have been supporting their businesses for years. Recently, we found a flyer at Yoder's Market for a fresh chickens and eggs.

Saturday evening, James and Clara, opened their home to their customers for an evening of fun and fellowship. We arrived at the farm around 4:00, in time to take a short tour of the property. This young family has been on the property for about three years. They have a lovely horse, turkeys slated to be Thanksgiving dinner, over 100 laying hens, numerous chickens being raised for sale in the very near future and three cows. We went to the family's pasture via hay ride courtesy of one of their Amish neighbors and were given a proper tour by James and his three very young sons. Their oldest child, all of seven, was bursting with pride (a non-Amish quality to be sure) in show us how well he and his father were running their operation.

Learning how much work goes into the raising of these fine fowls gave me a real appreciation for their quality. Each and every day their pasture area is moved, no small feat, as this requires the moving of a fence, small shed, water and feed stations, and various bits and bobs. The chickens feed on live insects and high quality feed. Their health is evidenced by the quality of the meat in the young birds and the volume of eggs produced each day - close to 60 per day.

After our hay ride back to the farm we enjoyed a wonderful dinner prepared by Clara. Homemade whole wheat spaghetti, sauce from their garden tomatoes, meatballs from their own steer, deviled eggs, and an out of this world applesauce. Dessert was a strawberry smoothie made with the farm milk, yogurt, strawberry preserves and maple syrup.

I left with a new found admiration for this family. Five children with one on the way, a spotlessly clean home, the children so healthy and happy, and a group of new friends. A very nice day, indeed.

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