Today we butchered 8 geese and 2 turkeys. Our animals go to inspected processing facilities these days, due to regulations. However, these geese and turkeys were for personal use, so we got to kill them ourselves.
This day was not one I was really looking forward to. It is a messy, bloody job and I have too many memories of childhood days lost with a naked chicken on my lap, searching for elusive pinfeathers. But things change and I somehow made it to 40 years old, and now raising my own food seems to be pretty cool. My mother came to help (supervise) and Heather and I got to hear stories from my grandparents butchering days. I did not know that turkey butchering meant it was time to set the table with a white tablecloth and Manischewitz wine. Or that you could spend an evening with neighbors stripping feathers for goose down.
So, was it worth it? I know we could get cheaper food elsewhere. Actually, I can raise cheaper food. A goose will eat about 5 times more than a chicken for every pound produced. But how do you put a price on knowing your food? Or a day spent with your mother learning how things used to be and how, in some ways, they never change? I know us raising geese for fun and for a great meal does not compare to my ancestors need to survive but being a part of this continuum is no small part of the satisfaction.
Who knows, maybe this year when we roast a goose we will find a white tablecloth! I do know we will spend time around the table with friends, a glass of wine and an appreciation for the many blessings we have.
Yeah, it is worth it!