“Back in the day…”
Grace and Faith sometimes roll their eyes when I start to tell stories about the good old days, when things were done differently, and usually better. But, back in the day, in this area of Stedman and Fayetteville North Carolina, local farmers raised hogs on pasture and then processed them for pork in the fall of the year.
In late fall–November and December–the chilly air was just right to aid in what was a large task. Butchering and cutting pork is not an easy job. At that time of year, many of the other harvest tasks had been completed and families or neighbors would have more time to get together to butcher hogs. A killing frost would have taken care of any flies or other insects that could spread disease and spoil the meat.
Well, the local raw honey is probably still available, because it doesn’t seem to last long once we put the word out.
As many of you know, our friend, neighbor, mentor and partner-in-a-few-things, Mr. Sam has 20 or so bee hives. He just started slinging honey from them for the fall. So far, he’s harvested about 16 gallons, or 120 pints. He still has more to do, but what he has already harvested is jarred and ready.
Local raw honey is a wonder product. It has so many health benefits and first aid properties, and it’s an absolute dream to bake with. In our family, we use it in bread recipes, we put it on cuts and scrapes, we seep onions in it as a cough suppressant, we use it as an antibiotic, which was very successful when our youngest contracted impetigo. Although our doctor had prescribed an antibiotic, we weren’t comfortable with the idea of the possible side effects. Honey did the job over the course of a week or so.
Our fall batch of broiler chickens arrived 2 weeks ago.
Peepers! (Now you know why those marshmallow things are called what they’re called!)
We pasture raise 2 or 3 batches of broilers each year for ourselves and our customers. So far, we’ve only raised the Jumbo Cornish Cross breed of broiler, and have been satisfied with the results. They grow from chick to butchering size in 8 to 10 weeks, depending on the season and the quality of their feed.