Once per week, the whole DirtNKids clan hops in the 10-yr-old minivan for the 20 minute drive to Bubba’s farm. During the winter, we load up on greens like mustard, turnip, beet, kale and fresh salad lettuces — my favorite time of year for food for sure. Greens is what we eat, the mainstay of our diet, if you will, and for more than three years now, he’s our favorite place to “shop.” If you’re new here, you can read about giant heads of cauliflower and shopping at a farm co-op to catch up.
Chinese cabbage…wow. Some seriously delicious stuff, stems and all. He threw in a couple of bunches (just as a good farmer would do) and it was instantly a new favorite for dinner (or breakfast, or lunch). Just so you know, this $20 investment of bags and bags of greens in the van means I only spend $80 at the grocery. Let me remind you, a $100-$125 total bill is for a family of six. I keep hearing that eating organic is expensive. I just don’t get it.
Seriously, he’s like my pusher, only my drug is veggies. I will always be going back for that. I can’t even grow it in my own yard as well (though I do try).
Angie was pretty impressed with the size of this particular turnip.
We ate the green tops, of course. The bulb still sits on the kitchen counter for bragging rights. Oh yeah? You got one bigger than this?
Of course, if you ask the kids why we go, it’s solely to feed the poultry. “Rush Hour,” they call it. We always try to go in the evening
’cause it’s their favorite part of the trip to help Bubba out with his closing-up chores. Angie was able to catch Bimbo this time, the fully grown, smallest poult in the group. She’s pretty tricky. The party was over, though, when the duck pooped into her shoe…a load. (I do promise, it’s not in the video.)
See? Dinner and a show. Worth every penny we spend here.
Scottie is ever cautious about the turkeys. He knows that the toms will get quite aggressive during mating season (which, thankfully, is not at the moment). They continue to display generously as we walk through their “territory.” Bubba jokes that the one that attacks him first becomes dinner the next day. Hm. If I had one of those bad boys on my neck — and it came down to him or me — I might be inclined to agree. Gulp
We probably don’t need to tell you that we don’t eat them anymore. Bubba’s turkeys are a heritage breed, so very different than the breed humans have “manufactured” for the Thanksgiving Day slaughter who can barely walk and grow their ginormous size in just short of a year. These birds are the brutes of the farm yard and gang up with other breeds (guinea fowl, ducks, geese, chickens) as organic pest control for all the fresh veggies we eat. Bubba is no vegetarian, but if I was a bird, I’d want to live here.
If you’ve not seen it on PBS, there is a documentary streaming on Netflix (or it can be watched in its entirety here) on wild turkeys: My Life as a Turkey. Joe Hutto, a naturalist in Florida, raised a brood of wild turkeys from hatching — from the incubating and turning, to the imprinting at hatching, all the way to the end when Turkey Boy alpha’d him. Really, he did it twice: once on his own, detailing in a journal (and later a book); the second time for a documentary. It is a show well worth watching and makes us all appreciate just how intelligent this species really is, how different it is from the domestic variety humans have “honed” for their taste buds. The ending scene keeps my Scottie leery of the toms in the yard.
Always good to be cautious of the big birds, Little Man.
And just like my kiddos, they let me know just when they’ve had enough of me.
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What are you waiting for? Go find a veggie co-op!
Check out LocalHarvest.org and see what’s in your area.