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From field to plate

Simply my lovely Tolouse goose Barley lays her eggs daily, carefully covering them with straw and twigs in an attempt to be a careful mumma goose. Except she doesn’t brood over them. Bonnie her mate (Sorry we thought he was a girl) doesn’t chastise her either.

So I collect them and in return for the effort I make our favorite eggy dishes. Quiches, Yorkshire puddings, omelettes, pasta, meringues, pastries and custards. Goose eggs are heavy, rich, gloopy with big golden yolks. Once wisked you get a creamy even consistency without any split of yolk and white. Scrambled eggs are a little rich but for baking you can’t beat em!

The quiche here has a base of wholewheat flower, rolled oats, carrot juice, olive oil, pepper and salt and linseed.

Mixed to a dough then rolled into a baking tray and blind baked for 10 minutes.

Lightly fried leeks, peppers, onion, asparagus and Thai spices are added to beaten Barley eggs, five of them and a dash of full cream milk.

Pour mixture onto the pastry base and cook on gas mark 3 for 15 minutes maximum. I then grill top for three minutes to give a lovely golden crust.

Best eaten after a day in fridge. We eat cold or reheat as needed. Delicious!

Everyone if possible should have chickens at least, to provide daily eggs. Ducks are easy to keep with no need for egg boxes or perches, just a cosy dry space to shelter and sleep and the ubiquitous water puddle to make into a mud mess. Geese are really easy to manage but need a lot of grass and room to paddle plus a wind proof shelter. But knowing what I know now, I would certainly have considered chickens. We had two cats. Still some work involved. They lazed, scratched my furniture, dug up my plants and scared next doors dog. They didn’t provide eggs. No brainer for me now. Animals help in life. They make it richer. Goats and sheep keep the grass short; the former devouring pesky brambles and Hawthorne overgrowth. Donkeys provide manure. Chicken manure also a rich source of nitrogen for the garden and the geese weed.

If I went a step further, a pig or two would help snout up the vegetable patch and manure at the same time in autumn.

Instead if keeping these guys opressed in a cage system, a rethink of gardens. Drop the manicured lawns and bee deadly insecticides and weed killers. Embrace dandelions and clover. A perfect garden devoid of wild flowers, devoid of that natural savageness is souless.

Just look what a goose egg does. It’s the start of rethinking how we look at our relationship with food and animals. Field to plate is a subject I will be returning too.

What are your thoughts on this subject. Are you considering raising your own food? Can we all make small changes and start to lessen our impact on the food chain? Can you see animals as a partner rather than merely a food source?

9 thoughts on “From field to plate

  1. Agree that animals should have jobs, too…and our pigs are tillers extraordinaire – you should see the growth in the paddocks where they’ve been! Our outdoor cat has a job: rodent catcher. And he’s very good at it, despite his belled (safety) collar. 😁 In the same vein, plants should be useful, too – can’t wait for all those “weeds” to bloom or fruit so I can wildcraft with them. I just don’t see the point of ornamental lawns, either.

    1. I really enjoy the teamwork aspect with animals. Everyone gains. I have a dandelion jungle at the front of the farmhouse. Enough for the poultry and for us to make cordial and wine and put in salads. We are still living out of boxes while we renovate and can’t wait to get all our books out about gardens, using weeds and no dig methods which we are trialling for our second year.

  2. Lovely post today! We love our duck eggs and how low maintenance the girls are – especially the fact that they can deal with lower temps than chooks (although I also like our ducks because they are more orderly and follow each other into the run rather than running amok like chickens do, haha). Our neighbor raises turkeys and their eggs are constantly getting stolen by hawks in the area then found down the back road behind our house, oy!

    I agree with letting the dandelions and clover go crazy, especially the clover – it’s just blooming now and our bees love it 🙂

    My husband really wants to raise a pig. Infrastructure – whew!

    1. Thanks. Not having a desk or space means my posts can be a bit on the hoof. Managed today to get the Cou Nou ( naked necks) in on my own..ok with waving two sticks about, but sort of orderly. The chooks are easy. Ring bell and wait with bag of meal worms. It’s like Chariots Of Fire …records have been broken to get meal worms!

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