I must be getting famous

I guess you can say your farm is on the map when unwanted stray cats are deposited at your gate. Note to people: this is not a good idea. Farms are not Animal Rescues.

Your unwanted cats are a burden for farmers and let’s face it, some farmers have no qualms about drowning or shooting a stray cat or dog.

“What’s the big deal, it’s just one cat,” you ask?  Well, exponentially, two unfixed cats become fifty in no time and before long, you have a diseased mess on your hands.  So, if you’re having visions of bluebirds, butterflies and happily ever after, you’re having some serious hallucinations.

That being said, occasionally it does work out.  Farm cats & dogs lead pretty rich and fulfilling animal lives. They have the freedom to be what they are, hunt, eat wild things and have adventures.  And come on – what’s better for a cat than a hay loft stacked with sweet smelling, toasty warm hay?

But Auburn Meadow Farm has no cats. ‘Till now that is.

Cat showed up a month or so ago, and has made it clear he intends to stay.  He’s pretty charming in a dog-like way, so he’s definitely growing on me.

He hangs out with the cows, likes to hide under the low, flat leaves of the burdocks, has made a nest under a brush hog and rides the wagon around for the watering rounds.

He loves to work in the garden and go on hikes like a dog. He’s a little unusual in all the best ways. So, I’ll say it out loud; Cat’s got a home.

I wonder if he’d still want to stay if he understood the price of admission was neutering?  I don’t quite know how to explain it to him, but I’ll do my best.

This week I’ve done some fun things.  Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture hosted a fermenting workshop with myself and Carrie Hahn, our local Weston A. Price chapter leader. If you’re not familiar with the Weston A. Price Foundation, they are an excellent resource for anyone interested in a healthier, more natural diet and do great work  advocating for family farms.  If you’re interested in learning more about Pittsburgh’s Weston A. Price chapter, call Carrie at 724-901-7012 or email her at 4hahn@comcast.net.

The workshop was held at Harvest Valley Farm and I’m still amazed at what an efficient and bustling place full of positive energy, enthusiasm and helpfulness it is.  And they’re growing the most amazing blackberries…

The produce at Harvest Valley Farm is beautiful and their ability to deliver fresh goodness to so many people including the Pittsburgh Food Bank is kind of a marvel. Slackers need not apply… it’s clear there’s none of that going on at Harvest Valley!

If you’re in the Pittsburgh area and not currently subscribed to a CSA program, you really should check Harvest Valley out. They also serve several farmer’s markets in the Pittsburgh area and have an excellent market & bakery in Richland township if committing to a CSA isn’t feasible for you at the moment.

Anyway, the workshop was fun, Carrie made some wickedly amazing kimchi and I hope everyone who attended goes on to live happily fermented ever after.

 make quark, a popular European fresh cheese & marinated cheese balls

In fact, it was so much fun, I’m doing it again Thursday, August 23 at the East End Food Cooperative. This time, we’re making everyday cheese you can make at home with no special equipment – easy, economical and so much better. Check it out here if you think you’d like to join us – you know you do…

Finally, I think I’m clawing my way out of my zucchini hole. I told you already about my zucchini preserved in oil  but I’m far from finished with zucchini! This stuffed dish was a delicious and stylish dinner using up the overblown zucchini that was too good to throw away, but isn’t so cute anymore.

The exciting part about this dish is that it’s getting really close to being 100% home-raised. Devon beef, home-grown zucchini, green pepper, onion, tomato, garlic & parsley; the only ingredients not raised either by myself or nearby friends is the flour, Parmesan, salt & pepper.

Pretty delish if I say so myself. Try it if you’ve got some overblown zucchini torpedoes too good to throw on the compost pile with a clear conscience. Printable recipe here. 

What exciting food-centric things happened in your week?

3 thoughts on “I must be getting famous

  1. Lily has two outdoor kittens that we intended as barn cats but we have been crating them on the patio at night for their own protection. The predators (probably coyotes) have been very efficient at keeping the local cat population down. I suspect real life is much different from what people envision when they abandon their animals.

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