August 31, 2011 § 15 Comments
I know I’ve mentioned that I have a meat CSA (community supported agriculture) in addition to a vegetable CSA before, but I can’t remember if I’ve spoken about it at length. And it’s been a long day, and I’m too lazy to check the archives, so I’m going to go ahead and make the executive decision to speak about it at length. In particular, to say: I looooooooooove it! I love it! It’s the best! To be able to get your meat, in a wide assortment of cuts and types, once a month from a farm where you know the animals are being raised sustainably and humanely. Just thinking about it induces a little sigh of relief.
(Given that I can’t eat legumes, many nuts, or unsprouted whole grains, meat winds up being fairly important in my diet, and before I found my CSA it was quite a struggle.)
Kim, the farmer, is wonderful. So friendly, gregarious, and accommodating, and completely uncompromising of principles. They have an open barn once a month so you can come out and “meet your meat,” which is something one really ought to have a chance to do, if one is going to eat meat, and is also a signal, clear as a mountain brook, that they have nothing in their process to hide. And, did I mention the hen house? When the chickens aren’t running about in the fields, pecking and scratching for insects, they roost in an old bus, salvaged from a dump.
An old bus! How wonderful is that image?! And, even more fascinating, between the solar heat and the heat from the feathery little chicken’s bodies, the bus requires no extra energy inputs to make it a pleasant abode for the birds, even in the winter. A chicken Hilton, on wheels…with tires that have gone flat.
And everything we get from Kim just tastes so much better than most of the meat you encounter. When someone says, “tastes like chicken” about something, they mean it tastes chewy, bland, generally inoffensive and entirely uninteresting. But, that’s not what chicken should actually taste like, it turns out. It should taste like chicken! (I’m afraid there’s not really a good way to describe it, so you’re going to have to make some inferences from the bold italics. It’s juicy, nuanced, and I swear you can detect fragrant hints of grass and wildflowers in there – maybe they soak it in while they’re scritching and squabbling about.)