Our Holiday Harvest
Well - we started with 10 picnic tables, 8 hoses, 6 extension cords, 4 bottles of propane, 2 furnaces, 1 water trough, a large scale, and 86 live Turkeys -
We finished with................. lots of cleaning to do!!!
Actually, we'll be finishing with 86 very happy families enjoying 86 very healthy, tasty Turkeys on Thanksgiving/Christmas Day this year.
And here's how the day began...
We like to start our group events around here at Our Lady's Ranch with a little prayer. So here we are praying together, asking for a successful harvest, while the Turkeys in the Trailer (left side) were praying for the opposite :)
And the work begins...That's our good friend Larry Lane on the left standing next to Michael and Mariana. Larry's a federal trapper who helps us keep predators minimized at the Ranch. He's the best!!! And each year he brings 5 or 6 young men to come out and help us with the Turkeys. It's a wonderful day for all of us, and his friends quickly become our friends too. Most of them return each year for this day of good food, good friends, and good fellowship.
The young men on the right are at the plucking machine, there are several people in the trailer doing the heavier cleaning, and that's Christia and Ali in the back packaging the finished product.
Here's a closer look at the packaging process. Ali's selecting the appropriate sized bag to receive the finished Turkey, which then gets dunked into a hot cauldron to shrink the bag tight around it. Then its placed onto the scale where Christia labels it before placing it in the refrigerator to chill for three days prior to freezing.
Most of the Turkeys this year went from 15 lbs to 25 lbs in size with a new farm record of "El Grande" this year weighing in at 40.9 lbs :)
Hurray - Lunch time!!!
After Christia suggested making breakfast burritos with eggs and sausage, I asked her to double up on the Family Friendly Farms Country Sausage... That was the least we could do for this high energy team.
The day just wasn't long enough, so we worked into the night... That's Christia still packing - still smiling. She's a trooper... She's 16 years old, which means that I've had the privilege of working with her for over 12 years now. I've never yet seen her back away from a challenge and she's always the last one to call it quits - a real leader... You go girl!!!
It got a little chilly outside that night, but nothing that a little hot chocolate and a big fire wouldn't cure. A job well done with a rest well deserved!!!
And now? . . . Let's Eat!!!