Spring is here.

Beautiful things are blooming around here. Our first spring in North Carolina and on this farm is bringing beautiful flowering surprises around our property. It’s delightful to see what colors are popping out from where. Since our family sent pictures from our property in April of last year, we know to anticipate the culmination of the spring blooming in the azalea bushes that are lining the entire driveway and yard. Spring is definitely bringing about a freshness in my spirit. I feel like I’m stepping out of a winter fog and truly into a new season of life. It’s exciting.

We also have 200 new layer chicks, and our teen-age Cornish-Cross meat chickens just transitioned from the brooder out to their pen in the pasture, to be moved daily to fresh grass. It’s amazing how fast these birds grow–they should be ready to eat in 2 weeks or so!! Our next batch of meat chicks will be here tomorrow! There are chickens all over the place! These meat birds will be Freedom Rangers–the same we raised with our first batch.

The seeds Graham started for our garden are starting to sprout, and he’s got the garden space tilled up. We still have a lot of clean-up work to do on the soil before we can put plants and seeds in the ground. Hopefully we’ll get some dryer weather soon to allow us to get that done. For right now, Graham is hard at work updating brooder #1 for tomorrow’s chick arrival!

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Sausage and Bacon

There seriously is nothing like home made sausage. Graham made ginger & sage breakfast sausage, tasty Italian sausage links.

We had some fantastic music on our playlist to set the sausage-making mood, inspired by Kramer.

Possibly one of the best creations ever is the house-cured-and-smoked bacon that Graham made from both halves of the pork belly.

The bacon has added amazing flavor so far to breakfast, beans, soup, bolognese sauce, spagetti carbonara, and this unbelievable meatloaf taken from the America’s Test Kitchen recipe.

I have a whole new respect for Charcuterie–the art of curing meats. Graham took his recipes from the book by the title of Charcuterie by Mark Rhulman.  The book is amazing.  I can’t wait to try more things in the future with another pig — pancetta, hams, hopefully salami’s… oh and I’d love to do some corned beef soon!  I’ve seen several articles in my favorite food magazines lately about meat curing, and I feel like artisan meat curing artisans are serious rock stars of the culinary world. I would LOVE to see us get into doing value-added meat products one day when we have enough capital to invest in the equipment necessary to be certified to craft these kinds of beautiful foods for sale.