July 6, 2012

Turnips and Turkeys, It's Thanksgiving - Deconstructed

In our sweltering heat of July, any Turnips left over in the garden generally become too woody to eat, but given our cool spring, even these large, rather woody-looking Purple Top Turnips, were salvageable, providing us a decent yet simple lunch of buttered turnips with a little salt. As nothing goes to waste around here, the plentiful greens which are now too fiberous for steaming, were shared with the poultry - mainly the ducks, chickens, pheasants and heirloom turkeys.

Spring Turnips, such as these Purple Top, are best picked when no larger than an hens egg, when they are crisp, clear and white inside. But in some years, a moist, cool spring, such as we had this season, will allow one to eat even larger roots before they become woody and too horseradishy.
THE TURKEY'S, CHICKENS AND DUCKS WERE WARY OF THE GIANT BUNDLE OF FRESH GREENS. THEY ARE STILL IMMATURE, AND INEXPERIENCED WITH SUCH MATTERS. LIKE THE PLASTIC KIDDIE POOL? WELL, INTHIS WEATER, THE DUCKS DO!.

OUR GOLDEN PHEASANTS HAD NO PROBLEM, HOWEVER, SNATCHING UP EVERY MORSEL OF FRESH GREENS. AS TRUE DENIZENS OF JUNGLES IN SOUTHEAST ASIA, THESE BIRDS LOOK FOR ANY OPPORTUNITY TO ADD GREENS AND INSECTS TO THEIR DIET.

ONE OF OUR SADDLE HOMER PIGEONS WAS CURIOUS, OR JEALOUS, BUT REALLY, HE COULD CARE LESS ABOUT EATING GREENS.

THE DUCKLINGS HAVE GROWN SO QUICKLY, THEY ARE ALREADY GETTING THEIR PATTERNING, AS THEY ARE INDIAN RUNNER DUCKS, THIS SELECTION WILL BE CLOSE TO A WILD MALLARD IN COLORING. THE TWO HEIRLOOM TURKEY BREEDS WE ARE RAISINS ARE STILL, WELL, RATHER UGLY, AT LEAST WHILE THEY ARE IN THEIR AWKWARD ADOLESCENT STAGE. NOT THAT TURKEYS GET ANY MORE ATTRACTIVE AS ADULTS.


AFTER THREE MINUTES, ALL HECK BROKE LOOSE, AND IN A FRENZY GREENS AND TURKEY, NOTHING WAS LEFT TO SPOIL IN THE SUMMER HEAT. NOW, THEY CAN ALL REST IN THE SHADE.

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