Anyway the Farmers are causing havoc. Dumping manure on roads, blocking train tracks, and slowing down traffic. When the tractors take to the roads as apparently they will every Wednesday you definitely don’t want to go to the supermarket.
Generally they are right. If I remember 2015 it was about the Supermarkets driving down prices in price wars between themselves. Then not paying the Farmers enough. Then when the Farmers did get the Supermarkets to adjust Farming produce, especially meat and dairy prices, the Supermarkets weren’t passing on the increase in the shop to the Farmers. I think that was trailer loads of manure piled up at Supermarket doors. British Farmers just don’t get militant enough.
The prices for meat have gone up in the Supermarket. Most eggs I see in France advertise they are grown in Plein air. We all know chickens don’t go out of the shed, even if they have a bloody great green field next to it and all the roller doors are up a foot or so for them. Battery hens are institutionalised. You would have to shoo them outside. Anyway they are trained to lay on the conveyor contraption! Don’t ask me they just do it. Still the eggs are good. So long as the chickens aren’t overcrowded they still get to wander around.
It’s sad on turnaround days though. I have helped a couple of times with a chicken shed turnaround. The chickens get Bach flower remedy in our friends shed the night of the nabbing. You have to start early while they are still roosting. Loads of people turn up to help pack the chickens 8 to a cage to transport them for slaughter. It’s definately a knack. And wear waterproofs! It is a fact of life. Dogmeat.
I wonder if it’s possible to combine rabbit farming with chicken farming. The chickens don’t go out much, perhaps the rabbits could use the field, and then get rounded up to a nice warm shed overnight. The French have to secure their chickens from foxes. I like rabbit. More bony than chicken but once you know how to handle one, skin it and cut it up it’s a lovely meat. It’s very expensive in France. We don’t have foxes in Jersey.
I suppose the main issue with keeping chickens and rabbits together is the hygiene of the chicken sheds. I really think it might improve the chicken shed hygiene. Most big sheds don’t clear the chicken guano untill the end of The laying season. I wonder if there could be a robot system to clean chicken sheds, the same as they do for cow sheds. It’s very clever. No different to a robot garden mower. Then the guano can be kept on continuous feed to the bio reactor.
It is disturbing. But while we want food in industrial quantities we have to treat chickens as an industrial commodity. My dog is not a vegetarian. I wouldn’t want to be a vegetarian either.
I value the meat I eat. I don’t overeat or waste any. It is always a life that I am eating. When my dog killed rabbits and pheasants on our Farm we ate them. Nothing wrong with them. I would rather eat them than just throw them in the bin.
I would rather pay £25 for a chicken once a month though. The organic chicken we bought this week was unrivalled. Beautiful thick yellow fatty layer under the skin. Meat everywhere. And the bones made the most incredible stock. I made risotto with some breast meat. In all we had ten meal portions from this bird. Two litres of excellent stock. Even the dog must have has three lots of about an ounce with her food as a treat. Ridiculous how we spoil our dog!
I am am going to have to come back to this post tomorrow, my 5.30 start this morning just caught up with me! Sweet dreams.
I suppose we need mass produced food for mass produced humans. However I am eating less meat. I just want the meat I eat to be excellent, organic, and the animal to have a great life. I want the slaughter to be humane. I see eating meat as a luxury. The same as fish. Fishing is dangerous.
I eat a fair amount of homemade bread. I put about 200g of mixed seeds and sometimes walnuts in the bread. I have started putting a spoonful of treacle in it too. Treacle has iodine in it. Again not a cheap bread, but good flour, especially with 100g of Kamut in it for more selenium. Yes it’s quite heavy, chewy, and very filling. Also full of nutrition. Just one slice and a bowl of soup fills me.
I like soup. The French make gorgeous soup in litre packs. These are about 80c to €1.90 usually depending on the ingredients. Mostly vegetables. We had a pumpkin and chestnut the other day. I think that was about €1.20. It was so good we ate all of it for lunch. Normally it’s enough for 3 good portions.
I would not give up egg and bacon. The best bacon we can get is in Jersey from Jon Hackett in St Brelade. It’s hand cured, from very posh pigs. We know they are well looked after. We probably pay twice what we could pay in the Supermarket to buy our pork, but it is local. It hasn’t had to suffer a long transit ride on a lorry, with poor conditions. We probably buy this pork once a month. We have to order the streaky bacon we like so he can cure it especially. We then pack the bacon into four slices a pack and freeze it for the weekly egg and bacon breakfast on Sunday.
I did buy two huge pig hocks in France for under €6 I will be making bean crock with them in the next few days. That reminds me I said I would show how it’s done on the L’Autocuiseur blog. We had the last portion of our Beans I made before Christmas last night.
I think Farmers should be allowed to change their farming style. We the buyer of meat should buy it local from the Farmers market shop. We should respect the animals, not waste any and be prepared to pay a lot more for meat. We don’t have to eat it.
We don’t eat Lamb often either now, as our preferred local grower Jenny Riggal is superb. We probably buy half a Lamb a year. It is a real luxury.
I think it probably costs twice as much as buying Lamb from the Supermarket. However it comes down to choice. It’s the same as the pork, I don’t want it put on a truck alive and driven right across Europe just because some idiot thinks it’s better to stress an animal to death before eating it.
We also eat our local Jersey Angus beef. I am planning to do another confit Brisket in a couple of weeks. It was so amazing at Christmas. The jus was sublime. Again grown and slaughtered locally.
I have also lost about a stone in weight since November. The difference is the quality of food. I don’t eat much with sugar. If I get a sweet attack I have a bowl of Jordan’s natural muesli. I also love dates. As I don’t eat desserts or sweets, I have decided to treat myself to some Medjool dates. I saw some advertised on Amazon from Palestine, so I am going to try those first. I love my food and a couple of glasses of wine. I also enjoy smoking! I just try not to do my addictions to excess.
Anyway good luck to the French Farmers. I hope they can get into growing crops for bioplastics, that could be profitable. We could get our coffee cups made with plant cellulose and then use them as seed pots and plant them in the garden. I did like an unbleached cardboard egg carton we bought in France It was compostable too, and the little cups big enough to start little seeds in. Wonderful. No need to put eggs in plastic.
Jersey has started a Plastic Free campaign. It’s fantastic. One wine supplier is saying they will not order bottled water in plastic any longer, and no plastic bags, they will supply a cloth bag as a loyalty freebie. The bottles will have a return value and be shipped back to the UK for refilling.
Anyway I drink tap water. Actually I don’t drink water at all, I only drink tea! I would have to be at deaths door to drink water! It’s ok for taking tablets!
someone said what about broken glass on our beaches. I would rather there were tumbled glass beads on the beach than plastic ones. We will have to be careful if it is a problem as doggy paws get cut easily. Still we have more problems as dog owners with lost fishing tackle.
I love good ideas put into action. We all benefit from joined up thinking.