One-Stop Shopping: Country-Style

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There is a store we like to go to, where we can buy all sorts of things we need for our kitchen, home and garden. We can buy things in bulk. We get to sample the goodness as we go… No, it’s not what you’re thinking! I’m talking about shopping at our local farm. We missed our regular stop at our butcher shop before he closed on Saturday, so we needed to get some meat for the weekend. We also needed an assortment of winter squash, straw and feed for our chickens… And some general animal love. I can’t think of a more pleasant way to shop!
After we picked up some beautiful and inexpensive produce, we headed out to see the grounds, and visit all of the wonderful creatures there.We love feeding the goats, and I enjoy watching Amelia’s face as these sweeties lick her hand. One goat grabbed the bag and ate it whole when it was almost empty, and Amelia thought that was the most hilarious thing that had ever happened to her.Goats are my favorite animals, and it’s always so hard to tear myself away, especially when I find one that wants a massageWe definitely need to buy some property someday, where we can have some of our own.I can hardly stand the sweetness!!We also picked up some eggs from these very happy, healthy chickens.

The farm itself is just beautiful, and they have thoughtfully made it a really fun place for children. Here’s a welly-toss station.
After our Fungi Foray, and picking up a copy of the wonderful little guide, Food for Free, I have been examining the ground very closely for edibles. I am fairly certain that we were in the midst of a very large population of edible boletus. I think we found some Larch Boletus and Boletus Gertrudiae. We did not bring any home, alas. No one else was picking, and I guess I am still a little nervous about eating mushrooms without the approval of an expert. I do kind of regret it, though! I took lots of pictures of the fungi we found, so I could look them all up and confirm later. The chickens did seem to be enjoying the bounty, though.

We all love the last stop on the walk around the farm– the barn where mamas and young creatures are kept. The last time we were there, we visited some very, very pregnant mama goats. This time, the highlight was this sow with all of her very rambunctious and velvety pink piglets.An older batch was in the next stall, lounging and napping in the hay.There is no way for me to visit a farm without grinning from ear to ear the whole time. I love that Amelia gets to spend time with these animals, and see what humane food production looks like. And it’s just bonus that we can pick up the things we need (at a good price) while we’re there!Not pictured: pastured eggs and meat, local cheese, chicken feed, and a huge bale of straw! And, yes, that is a 10-kilo bag of onions!

Have you been to a local farm lately?

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5 Responses to One-Stop Shopping: Country-Style

  1. Rois October 16, 2012 at 2:17 pm #

    Goats,Pigs and Chickens my three favorite farm animals! The picture of the Sow with her Piglets nursing was a nice spot of cheer this morning.It put some sunshine on my face as I face a stormy wet Portland day.

    You are smart about the mushrooms.Growing up my Dad taught Wilderness Survival Classes and he always said about mushrooms – when in doubt go without. it’s too easy to make a mistake.My family and I see tons of different mushrooms in the woods here but only pick about 5 kinds because we are 100% sure of them.

    • Ariana Mullins October 19, 2012 at 1:54 pm #

      Oh, Portland storms… We have had better weather here since summer ended, but I’d say half of the days are still gray. We were SO thankful for the beautiful weather on our farm visit/ shopping trip!

      Also– how awesome to have a dad with that skill set! I have really strong feelings about wilderness survival training. I think it should be taught in all schools, based on the local terrain and wildlife. What could be more basic? And we are LOSING so much native knowledge and wisdom about our lands, as newer generations are not being taught the things that were previously passed down. So tragic. Anyway, it was interesting that no one was picking those mushrooms– I really am very sure at this point that they were good edibles, but people seem to have lost interest and knowledge in that regard…

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