Link to KansasPrairie.net

11/21/2013

BRINE YOUR TURKEY THE CHEZ PANISSE WAY….

Filed under: prairie musings, recipes, Heritage turkeys/chickens, Ryon Carey — Peg Britton @ 1:36 pm

11/17/2010
DO IT THE CHEZ PANISSE WAY AND BRINE YOUR TURKEY
I posted this Nov. 17,  2010 and it’s worth repeating.

Ryon Carey got this recipe from his friend Alice Waters, owner of Chez Panisse.   Chez Panisse is a Berkeley, California restaurant known as the birthplace of California cuisine, a style credited to its co-founder, Alice Waters.

The restaurant is located in the north Berkeley neighborhood known locally as the “Gourmet ghetto”. Chez Panisse has been listed by Restaurant magazine from 2006 to 2008 as one of the top fifty restaurants in the world.  In 2006 and 2007, Michelin awarded the restaurant a one-star rating in its guide to San Francisco Bay Area dining.

The best turkeys I’ve ever eaten were ones that I’ve soaked in brine as they are exceptionally moist and juicy.  My recipe is much simpler than this and even though it produces a similar product, it lacks the full flavor of this recipe.  If you’ve never brined a turkey before baking it, you might want to give it a try.  You need to keep it cold while it is in the brine.

For brining, start with a fresh turkey or a completely thawed turkey that is not basted or self-basted. If you can find a homegrown, free-range, fresh heritage turkey, so much the better.

Turkey Brine from Chez Panisse

2 1/2 gal. water
2 cups Kosher salt
1 cup sugar
2 bay leaves, torn
1 bunch fresh thyme
1 whole head of garlic, separated and peeled
5 whole allspice berries, crushed
4 juniper berries, smashed
1 bunch fresh sage
1 bunch fresh rosemary
1 bunch parsley
10 peppercorns
8 shallots, peeled

Place water in non-reactive container, add all ingredients and stir until salt and sugar are dissolved.  Put turkey in brine for 24 hours, completely submerged.  Remove bird, rinse well and drain.  Pat dry.  Roast bird for 20 minutes per lb. or until juices run clear and turkey is tender.

You can place a frozen turkey in the cold brine and let it thaw.  Don’t brine the giblets.  A fresh turkey will keep for 28 days in a refrigerator at 40 degrees or lower (which is much colder than most household refrigerators).  The trick is to find out how many days it was refrigerated before you bought it. Remove the packaging from a fresh turkey,  remove giblets, then re-wrap and freeze the turkey. Place turkey in brine to thaw  for 24 hours before the big day.

You’ll experience the best turkey you ever had.

11/18/2012

TURKEY AND DRESSING DAY AT ALLY’S PRAIRIE DANCER HERITAGE TURKEY FARM….

Filed under: prairie musings, Heritage turkeys/chickens, Ally Britton — Peg Britton @ 8:43 am

allys-turkey.jpg

Ally Britton rinsing a turkey before wrapping it for a customer.  Her largest turkey was just a few ounces shy of 20#.  These turkeys were raised  free-range, on a diet of locally grown grains especially mixed for them at the Ellsworth Co-op.  They led a good, chemical free life on the farm.

rich-with-turkey.jpg

Rich Stinnett showing off one of the prize turkeys…thanks to the Co-op for loaning Ally the trough for the day…

charlie-and-rich.jpg

Charlie Robinson and Rich Stinnett ….lending Ally helping hands at Turkey and Dressing day… it took a village to get the job done.   In addition, the village team included:  Ryon, Sandra, Becky, Greg, Ozzie, Mark, Les…who can give you a first hand account of how really hard this kind of work is, especially, for those who must do it every day.

Thanks for tuning in…

11/11/2012

MY HIDEAWAY …

house-from-deadmans.jpg

My tree house in the woods is almost empty except for the things I’m taking to Salina or have given to others. Todd and Karen carried out tub after tub of treasures again today to enjoy themselves and store for their boys.  Almost everything has found a happy home including many items passed on to Mosaic that they can use or sell. Ally has a lot of furniture to move after her Turkey and Dressing party next weekend.  Claudia and I are taking my loose items and clothes to my apartment in Salina next week.  We’ll rattle around in an empty house for Thanksgiving when granddaughter Mackenzie and Ty are here for the weekend then the movers will come the 28th and take my bed and other belongings to the Palace. Once my bed goes out the door, I’ll be in hot pursuit.

Thanks for tuning in…

10/30/2012

ALLY’S HERITAGE TURKEY ROUND-UP OCT. 30, 2012…FREE RANGE AND FREE OF CHEMICALS AND GROWTH HORMONES…

Filed under: prairie musings, friends, Heritage turkeys/chickens, Ally Britton, Ringo — Peg Britton @ 5:17 pm

ally-with-her-fowl-hat.jpg

When you raise turkeys from tiny poults to 20# gobblers, you have to maintain a good sense of humor.  Turkeys are not the smartest critters in the world and they give most farmers good reason to avoid them; however, in an effort to preserve the breed, Frank Reese, the God Father of American poultry and owner of the Good Shepherd Turkey Ranch, has raised Heritage turkeys as long as he can remember.  Frank’s efforts caught on with Ally who decided to convert her 100 year old dairy farm into a turkey farm.

Ally started with about 500 poults and sent about 250 full grown turkeys to market.  She also has an additional 50 for prepare for customers who will come before Thanksgiving to pick up the dressed turkeys they have ordered for Thanksgiving dinners.  She has also sold a few to breeders.

The turkeys are free-range who have lived on a 100% mixed grain vegetarian diet developed over the years by Reese and purchased locally. Their diet is free of antibiotics and growth hormones.   For her first year in the business, she would feel good just to break even.  She may come close to that. Your patronage to purchase turkeys directly from her has helped her obtain that goal.

img_3844.JPG

Ryon Carey, James Baker and Ally Britton push the turkeys into Al Vanek’s trailer.  Rich Connally is wisely looking on from outside the fence.  They loaded 2,010 pounds of turkey.

allys-heritage-turkeys.jpg

Several varieties of pampered, well-fed organic Heritage turkeys are waiting to be loaded onto the truck. They were saved from the coyotes, bob cats and other wild predators that are a constant concern.  Ally’s three dogs did a good job protecting the turkeys.  Ringo will soon join Haley, Sam and Maggie and learn the ropes of turkey guarding.

img_3841.JPG

Ryon and James encourage reluctant turkeys into the trailer.  The turkeys were taken to Frank Reese’s turkey ranch to be a part of 4,000 turkeys that were loaded on semi-trailers to take to a processing plant.

ally-and-michelle-vanek.jpg

Ally and Michelle Vanek discuss the operation.

audrey-hankins-michelle-vanek-bev-connally.jpg

Audrey Hankins, Michelle Vanek and Bev Connally stand by to offer assistance. It was a drop dead gorgeous day for all involved.

reese-frank-turkeys.jpg

These are Frank Reese’s turkeys that Ally’s turkeys joined to be shipped to market.
Thanks for tuning in…

10/28/2012

GREAT TURKEY ROUND UP OCT. 30…BRING YOUR BROOM AND COME HELP…

Filed under: prairie musings, Heritage turkeys/chickens, Ally Britton — Peg Britton @ 8:09 am

472030_4110444483107_840750306_o.jpg

Ally Britton’s Prairie Dancer Heritage Turkey Farm Round up…Tuesday morning Oct. 30.

10/22/2012

LAST CALL FOR FREE RANGE, PAMPERED TURKEYS FOR YOUR THANKSGIVING AND CHRISTMAS DINNERS….THE LAST ORDER DAY IS SATURDAY OCTOBER 27TH

Filed under: prairie musings, Heritage turkeys/chickens, Ally Britton — Peg Britton @ 9:54 am

allys-free-range-turkeys.jpg

Ally Britton’s message from her  Prairie Dancer Heritage Turkey Farm is that for those who want fresh turkeys for Thanksgiving and/or Christmas dinners, Saturday October 27th is the final day for ordering.  She has 30 orders and can only take a few more.  Turkeys come in all sizes (and colors), but it seems to me there are more smaller ones than large.  Ally will need phone numbers for everyone who has already ordered.  You will need to pick up your turkeys at her farm on Nov. 17 and 18.  Any turkeys not picked up by then will be frozen.  Her phone number is 785.472.7065.  Her reception is bad so persevere.

Thanks for tuning in…

10/8/2012

A LITTLE OF THIS AND THAT…

Following the dearth of visitors from out-of-town during the heat of summer, the traffic has picked up very pleasantly in recent days.  Those who have found their way to my door include Kim, Julie, Kevin, Marci, WenDee, Joyce, Annette, Ann, Terry and Travis, just for openers. Maybe I’ve forgotten some, but I hope not.  I love to have people stop by and spend the night if they can.  I’m losing beds pretty fast around here so I think they are taking advantage of those that remain.  I couldn’t be happier.

I’ve had some humorous calls from friends complimenting “me” on Ally’s big screen debut with her turkeys on Hatteberg’s  People last night. I had nothing to do with it, of course, but my friends are teasing that I’m the Dina Lohan of Ellsworth, the starlet’s mother. Enormous thanks go to Marci Penner of the Kansas Sampler Foundation for the tip to Hatteberg about Ally’s Prairie Dancer Farm projects. Turkeys are a ton of work, particularly since they aren’t the smartest creatures on earth and with their insatiable appetites they eat an endless amount of grain. If anyone has left over watermelon, pumpkins, cantaloupe, garden fruits and veggies, etc., her turkeys love the variety they offer.  She meets herself coming and going to the Co-op for more food for them.  With her they do have a happy, care-free home on the range and she takes very good care of them.

Speaking of turkeys…Ally is selling some dressed turkeys locally to try to break even on her turkey business this first year. She could use help rounding up the turkeys and getting them crated to transport to Frank Reese’s farm. That just requires a broom and a lot of good humor.  Then she could use help in two others areas when she’s dressing about 50 to sell locally. She needs a “catch and kill” group and a “gut and pluck” group.  It’s amazing, but she is gathering volunteers who are willing to help. Those are true friends.

Grandchildren, Mackenzie and Drew, are having difficulty getting time off during the holidays.  It seems they just get Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day off and since they live in O’Fallon IL and Boulder CO respectively, it’s almost impossible to spend any time in Ellsworth without additional days off to travel. Tyler has more accrued time in his job in Cincinnati and is the only one who might be able to be here. At least it looks that way now.

It was time to change my oil and, fortunately, it coincided with the cold spell that always results in my tire air pressure light going on.  The Co-op cleans my car on the inside too when they change my oil which is a great selling point for me doing business with them.  When they return it to me later today, it will be ready to withstand the elements of winter, when that time arrives.  Right now it is a gorgeous fall day and one Ringo and I are enjoying immensely.

Thanks for tuning in…

GIVING TURKEYS A TRY…ALLY BRITTON…HATTEBERG’S PEOPLE

Filed under: prairie musings, Heritage turkeys/chickens, Ally Britton — Peg Britton @ 8:10 am

10/3/2012

ALLY BRITTON TO APPEAR ON HATTEBERG’S PEOPLE SUNDAY NIGHT AT 10:00…

Filed under: prairie musings, Heritage turkeys/chickens, Ally Britton — Peg Britton @ 1:30 pm

Larry Hatteberg spent 2 1/2 hours at Ally’s farm this morning filming a “Hatteberg’s People” three minute segment that will air Sunday night. It will feature Ally’s Prairie Dancer Farm Heritage turkeys, her commercial kitchen construction and progress being made to commercially produce her famous mustard sauce.  If you want to tune in, the show will air Sunday Oct. 7th at 10:00 p.m. on the following channels:
KAKE TV CHANNEL 10, WICHITA
KLBY TV CHANNEL 4, COLBY
KUPK TV CHANNEL 13 DODGE AND GARDEN CITY

Thanks for tuning in…

9/20/2012

ALLY’S PRAIRIE DANCER FARM HERITAGE TURKEYS…SHE’S TAKING ORDERS NOW…

Filed under: prairie musings, Heritage turkeys/chickens, Ally Britton — Peg Britton @ 11:27 am

1-turkey.jpg

Dear friends and friends of friends…

Six months ago  I took on a new venture when  I bought 500 baby turkeys (poults)  from Frank Reese , the grandfather of Good Shepherd Heritage turkey preservation.   Frank has worked since he was a young boy to keep these breeds from extinction.  Like a few other friends of his, I’m trying to help preserve these rare turkey breeds.  It sounds strange to say, but these turkeys need to be eaten to avoid extinction.  To increase the demand for them is the key to their survival so I’m encouraging you to try one of them for your Thanksgiving dinner.

allys-free-range-turkeys.jpg

I’ve gone from a very tiny bird I could cradle in my hand to really big guys and gals that roam the range at my farm following my every move and pecking at me along the way.  They are beautiful, healthy  birds and thrive on the special mix of locally grown grains that I buy at the Ellsworth Co-op.

baby-turkey-2012.jpg
For me, this has been so worth the time, labor and love it requires to take care of turkeys.  They can be difficult critters to keep alive and  I feel so good being able to care for them properly and watching them mature into big birds.  It’s not everyone who likes to listen to turkeys pecking on their front door wanting someone to come play, but I do.

I’d like to see what I can do with local sales before they are all shipped to market and would like to have 50 willing customers who will order an oven-ready turkey for the holidays. I can provide a turkey and recipes the week of Thanksgiving.

They don’t taste like either a wild turkey or a domestic bird. There is less breast meat with the Heritage Turkey and more juicy, dark meat. My turkeys have only been fed the best feed with no chemical additives.

turkeys-everywhere.jpg

I will have turkeys of all sizes and will sell them dressed, ready for the oven at  $4.50 per lb.  That  is more expensive than the mass-produced turkey farm birds, but with mine, you’re getting a free-range quality bird that isn’t full of chemicals and you’re helping to preserve a species.  I know you will enjoy it very much and feel good about the purchase.

I need to have your order and deposit by October 15th.  That’s the deadline for orders as soon thereafter I’ll have my roundup date and all my turkeys then will be on their way to other parts of the county.

My phone number is 785.472.7065. When you call,  I’ll be happy to fill you in on other details about my turkeys.  When your order is ready, you’ll need to pick it up at my farm.
I also have two varieties of my Prairie Mustard for sale that is a wonderful complement to serve with turkey and ham. It is $12.00 a pint for either the variety with seeds or spicy jalapeno.  I have it available at the present time.  You can pick it up from my mom, Peg, in Ellsworth.  Call first at 472.3844.

Thanks for your support.

Ally Britton

Prairie Dancer Turkey Farm

Located a small hop south of Ellsworth Kansas

turkeys-002.jpg

8/3/2012

FRANK REESE’S GOOD SHEPHERD HERITAGE RANCH…ASPCA $150,000 GROW YOUR FARM GRANT…

Filed under: prairie musings, Heritage turkeys/chickens, Ally Britton — Peg Britton @ 10:05 am

ALLY BRITTON, on her PRAIRIE DANCER TURKEY RANCH, raises turkeys that she got as poults from Frank Reese. Frank and Ryon Carey are the breeders who got her in the Heritage turkey business and lend helping hands and advice along the way. Stay in touch with Ally to learn when turkey roundup day will be this fall.  It’s a peck of fun to help Frank and Ally round up their turkeys and ship them to market.  I think you’ll find the following article interesting.  And remember…YOU HAVE TO EAT THEM TO SAVE THEM!

Heritage Foods USAThe Source for Authentic American Heritage Foods

Dear Heritage Foods USA Supporter,

Every August for the past ten years Heritage Foods USA has had the great honor of announcing the arrival of a new generation of Good Shepherd Ranch Heritage Turkeys and a new chapter in the history of an endangered species (you have to eat them to save them). While many farmers now use the term, Frank Reese and his team raise the truest example of the original Heritage Turkey: according to the USDA, they remain the only farm allowed to use the name “Heritage” on their label thanks to certification by the oldest agricultural organization in North America, the American Poultry Association.

Thanks to everyone who bought Heritage Turkeys for their Thanksgiving, millions of dollars have been funneled to independent Kansas family farms and processors. When Frank started in 2002 he hatched 900 eggs in his barn. This year 20,000 eggs were hatched, all before May 15th, meaning our birds will be large and in charge: most are already over 10lbs! Since the inception of the Heritage Turkey Project more than ten of Frank’s partner farms have converted to Good Shepherd from a corporate system whose weak protocols on husbandry, welfare and genetics necessitated the use of sub-therapeutic antibiotics at all stages of production. Good Shepherd Ranch is the only farm we know of that produces chickens and turkeys without the use of sub-therapeutic antibiotics from hatching to processing. Routine use of sub-therapeutic antibiotics in feed is unnecessary and dangerous when raising food-animals.

In more recent news, The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) made Frank the first farmer to receive a $150,000 Grow Your Farm Grant. The profits from Frank’s expansion will repay the grant money so that the ASPCA can give again to another deserving farmer, thus making the grant perpetual. Your purchases have strengthened the backbone of sustainable farming, raising awareness, and making these kinds of grants possible.

We hope you reserve your healthy, naturally mating, flying Standard Bronze, Bourbon Red, White Holland, Slate, Black, or Narragansett turkey today! Lets do it again and support the brightest hope for the Turkey! We guarantee these are the best tasting Turkeys ever or your money back.

SIZES
8-10 lbs → $75
10-12 lbs → $87
12-14 lbs → $99
14-16 lbs → $106
16-18 lbs → $118
18-20 lbs → $130

What You Need To Know
All turkeys will arrive via FedEx Overnight on Tuesday November, 20th. FedEx tracking numbers will be sent out the week before. Each Turkey is shipped in its own specially designed box.
2012 Heritage Turkeys have their own shipping costs and do not count towards our offer of $250 Free Shipping–all other products on the website do.
If your order contains any product other than a Turkey, we will ship the rest of your order on the next available ship date, NOT for Thanksgiving delivery, unless you note otherwise in the Comment Box upon checkout. Or call us (718) 389-0985.

Calculate 1 lb per person.

All Turkeys come with neck and gizzards and cooking instructions.
Turkeys are kept at a temperature of 28 degrees, which will keep them safe, not fully frozen.
While you cannot pick a breed, we will tell you which breed you receive.
Please send address changes and order cancellations by Friday, November 9th.
We have a 100% customer satisfaction guarantee. If you are not satisfied, your money back!

Tel: 718-389-0985
Fax: 718-389-0547

Our mailing address is:
Heritage Foods USA
402 Graham Ave
Box 198
Brooklyn, New York 11211

6/25/2012

PRAIRIE DANCER HERITAGE TURKEY RANCH …RANCHER…

Filed under: prairie musings, Heritage turkeys/chickens, Ally Britton, 1404 N.Douglas — Peg Britton @ 11:55 am

ally-new-boots.jpg

Here’s my daughter, Ally Britton, the heritage turkey ranch rancher stylin’ with her brand new shiny rubber boots to protect her legs from her ardent followers who insist on pecking on her legs. Her dogs are learning the tricks of the trade in protecting the flock.

Does anyone want to tear down an old barn for the barn wood?  It was beyond saving (without investing a small fortune) when she bought the farm.

turkeys-everywhere.jpg

Ally and Maggie tending the flock.  Prior to her starting the turkey business, the farm had been used for dairy cattle and milk production for 100 years.

turkey.jpg

A miniature dinosaur: a priceless little remnant of earth’s beginnings…

6-2012-june-2012-pegs-house-008.jpg

And, as a reminder, my house is for sale.  Please pass the word along.  This is part of the lower level featuring an antique Brunswick snooker table that came from the Playmor in Ellsworth.  It should see some action before we move.

Stayed tuned…it’s getting interesting.

11/2/2011

IT’S TIME FOR ANOTHER GREAT AMERICAN TURKEY ROUNDUP…

Filed under: prairie musings, Heritage turkeys/chickens, Ryon Carey — Peg Britton @ 2:28 pm

Sunday at The Good Shepherd Turkey Ranch near Lindsborg, 4,000 turkeys will be “rounded up” and separated.  Some will be sent to market for Thanksgiving dinners while others will remain on the Ranch for breeding purposes.   Come join the fun and help corral the birds. Or just watch and giggle while others not accustomed to so many flapping wings and feathers try to do so.

Here are a few pictures from last year’s roundup.

ryon-turkeys.jpg

They just can’t keep their dance cards in order.  Such confusion. Ryon Carey, famous for his own Heritage breeds of chickens, turkeys and geese is shooshing on the left.

turkey-wrestling.jpg

There’s wrestling, wing flapping and breath-holding during the captures.  Gloves and visors help but are not mandatory.  Good humor, adventuresome spirits and poop tolerance are required.

allyturkey.jpg

Ally finally landed a turkey and had a great time doing it.  You’ll be intermingling with several different varieties of rare birds:  Standard Bronze, Maragansett, White Holland, Bourbon Red and Black Spanish.  It’s anyone’s guess when the action will start, but best estimates place the herding to start about 1:00 Sunday afternoon.  It doesn’t take as long as one might suppose.

frankhanding-off.jpg

Here’s Frank Reese on the right separating the girls from the boys and putting those aside that will be free to roam on the ranch for another year.  You can read more here about Frank and his turkeys.   Here’s the posting I did last year on the roundup.

You can also type in ‘Frank Reese’ or ‘Heritage turkeys’ in my search box and learn more about these very special turkeys.
Everyone seems to be very welcome whether or not they participate so join in on the fun.

Thanks for tuning in…

11/30/2009

TWO-THIRDS OF CHICKEN TESTED HARBOR DANGEROUS BACTERIA

Filed under: print news, Heritage turkeys/chickens — Peg Britton @ 1:34 pm

Consumer Reports’ latest test of fresh, whole broilers bought in 22 states reveals that two-thirds of birds tested harbored salmonella and/or campylobacter, the leading bacterial causes of food-borne disease. The report reveals that organic “air-chilled” broilers were among the cleanest and that Perdue was found to be the cleanest of the brand-name chicken. Tyson and Foster Farms chickens were found to be the most contaminated. The report is available, free online (note, you have to click through the side bars to the left of the story) and in the January 2010 issue of the magazine.

For the rest of the story.

This story was brought to my attention by Ryon Carey, the “chicken guy”, who, along with Good Shepherd and other farmers, raise their own chickens, grind their own chicken feed without the addition of antibiotics and send clean chickens/turkeys to market.

11/27/2009

CHICKIE ON THE RUN…

Filed under: prairie musings, Heritage turkeys/chickens, Jesse Manning — Peg Britton @ 6:45 pm

Jesse Manning, Ally and I made a run to Lindsborg today for free-range chicken eggs. The place to find such treasures is on Ryon Carey’s farm south of town.  As we need dozens and dozens of eggs to make Rom Pope for the Christmas holidays, Ryon had ample hens to respond to our request. Ryon calls our secret concoction “Crème Brûlée with Vodka”.

ryon-and-ally-bottle.jpg

Ally got sidetracked over an old bottle she found in Ryon’s yard.

jesse-and-ally.JPG

Ally and Jesse explore the chicken ranch… the many varieties of chickens, turkeys, geese, rabbits and a goat or two.

photo-copy.jpg
Jesse and moi in one of Ryon’s many chicken houses.  They all have piped in music, heating and the comforts of home.  We preferred the classical music in this one where the hens seemed a classy lot although a bit stuffy.

I call Ryon the “chicken guy”, or my “chicken friend”, but he’s far more than that.  He raises heritage chickens and turkeys of some of the world’s rarest breeds.  There are only a few remaining birds of some breeds.  If it were not for farmers like Ryon, these breeds would be lost.  Ryon is foremost an art dealer-collector and probably more knowledgeable about Birger Sandzen than anyone walking.  He’s a history buff, does corporate taxes, sings, is a gourmet cook, preserves old buildings, never throws anything away and is chair of the McPherson County Democrats.  Among other things.

Thanks for tuning in…

11/17/2009

TODAY SHOW TO FEATURE TURKEYS FROM GOOD SHEPHERD TURKEY RANCH

Filed under: prairie musings, Heritage turkeys/chickens — Peg Britton @ 7:43 pm

Friday morning the Today Show will feature turkeys from Good Shepherd Turkey Ranch.  Remember when I went to Marquette to join in on the turkey round up?  I understand the segment will be during the 8:30 time frame.  If you’re free, take a look.

Ally and I tried the traveling Oriental food and found one order was more than enough as neither of us was very hungry.  We had chicken with veggies fixed with spicy sauce…the brown kind.  It was very good served on rice.  There is enough for another small meal for moi.  We also had crab rangoon.  We thought the $15 tag was a bit pricey, but also convenient.

We spent most of the day in Salina seeing the surgeon and running errands.  Ally is still doing my driving for me, but I got the green light to drive today from the doctor.  He removed some of my staples and one of the “hang grenades”.  The rest should come out next week and that will be a relief as they are uncomfortable and there are a bazillion of them. The best news is that the four lymph nodes he removed and tested, along with all the other tissue around the growth,  showed no cancer at all.  I was lucky.

Todd brought the cutest visitor by tonight…Bella Britton, a Shih Tzu puppy. She is black and white and very cuddly.  What a darling.  She’ll be good mellow companion for Bentley.

Ringo reacts in such a gentle way with a puppy around.  He smiles out of one side of his mouth and approaches Bela very hesitantly…never getting close.  He’s agreeable to having house guests as long as they don’t try to mess with his toys.  He has them upstairs where he stands guard over them and any one who might approach our house. Once Bela is large enough to romp a bit, Ringo will let her crawl all over him.

Things have been a bit hectic lately.

Thanks for tuning in…

11/1/2009

FRANK REESE’S GOOD SHEPHERD TURKEY RANCH ANNUAL ROUNDUP…WHOOPEEE!

Filed under: prairie musings, Heritage turkeys/chickens — Peg Britton @ 2:47 pm

good-shepherd-ranch-jpg.jpg

Frank Reese has spend his life maintaining and protecting heritage turkeys, heritage chickens and other heritage fowl.  Before supermarkets and distributors made the Broad Breasted White turkey the dominant bird on the market and the turkey most Americans are familiar with, diverse breeds such as the Narragansetts and Jersey Buffs offered families a turkey with greater flavor and texture. Now such turkeys, known as Heritage Breeds or “standard” turkeys, are making a move to be on your table this Thanksgiving.

Frank Reese’s Good Shepherd Turkey Ranch, home of Heritage Breeds,  is about a mile east of the south end of Marquette KS on Smoky Valley Road.  Today it was a bevy of activity as friends and employees gathered up 1,368 turkeys, placed them on a truck and sent them on their way to Cincinnati Ohio for processing.  They’ll find their way to dinner tables all over the U.S.

This year 12,000 Heritage turkeys from four different Heritage farms will find their way to market.  Half will be processed in Cincinnati, the other half in Effingham IL.

Once a year Frank Reese corrals his turkeys into a sorting pen and separates those ready for harvest from breeding stock.  These are the Heritage turkeys he breeds and raises:  Bourbon Red, Black, White Holland, Bronze and Narragansetts.  Read here about his poultry ranch.

frank-r.jpg

Here’s Frank, the main man.  The cage at the right is fashioned from one used many years ago and serves as an enclosure so that he can separate hens from toms, and those saved for breeding. This makes turkey separation and loading a breeze from they way they loaded until last year.  At that time they hand-hooked each turkey, picked it up and loaded it in the truck.  There were 3,000 of them and the shipping process took all day.

ryon-turkeys.jpg

This is part of the flock that Ryon, left, and helpers are directing toward a chute and Frank’s small cage where  they can be separated.

turkey-wrestling.jpg

It’s a pretty messy job and turkeys are strong willed.  Sometimes you just wish you were home watching football.

frankhanding-off.jpg

Frank pulled each turkey from the cage and handed it off to helpers who carried it to the truck for loading. The guys could usually carry two at a time, the gals only one.

loading-the-truck.jpg

A young man who worked for Frank died unexpectedly two years ago.  Friends of his, and his parents, come from Kansas City every year to help Frank with the round up as a memorial event for their son and friend.

The hardest job of all is held by the man at the top who has to lift each wing-flapping turkey into a wire cage.  Two years ago Caleb worked that position with 3,000 turkeys and was black and blue after the all-day ordeal. Today the shipment of birds is headed to Cincinnati Ohio for processing, then to be distributed over the U.S.

allyturkey.jpg

Ally carried a Bourbon Red turkey around for awhile then sent it on its way for someone’s Thanksgiving dinner.  I wonder who?  She should have tied a little message to one of its little toes. “From Frank and Ally. Please write.”

You can buy Frank’s turkeys here.  Some are also available at Kreibel’s in McPherson and the Hen House and Hy Vee Grocery store in Kansas City.  They are special birds that are well cared for during their lifetime.

“By buying a Good Shepherd Turkey Ranch Heritage Turkey you are supporting a network of independent growers, preserving endangered lines of turkey breeds that you must eat in order to save, and ensuring humane animal treatment: our turkey farms are the first to receive Animal Welfare Institute’s Animal Welfare Approved certification.”

MICHAEL MOORE, AL FRANKEN, FRANK REESE AND STRING PHONES…

Filed under: prairie musings, Heritage turkeys/chickens — Peg Britton @ 7:58 am

The accumulating comments under the Al Franken video (below) are interesting and informative.  Take a look.

Whether or not you like Michael Moore, his movie, “Capitalism: A Love Story”, gives everyone, whatever their political persuasion might be, something serious to ponder.

A friend, who lives in Florida, and I have been contemplating ways to communicate during our simultaneous viewing of a movie while I am laid up.  I suggested the old tin can and string method but  she found that problematic.  Here’s what she said:

I think we might run into some technical difficulties using string …

The way I remember it, in order for that method to work you have to hold the string taunt … and, what with the distance involved, I’m thinking that could present a challenge.

Another thing I worry about is rain.  Like, for example, if it happens to be raining in some little town between St Pete and Ellsworth, chances are that portion of our string will get wet … and it seems to me I was reading an article in a science journal not long ago which indicated that damp string carries a very poor signal.

Of course I suppose we could minimize those problems by laying string that we’ve shielded in plastic tubing.  Then maybe just drape our plastic encased string along already existing telephone and power lines … that might work …

So, whadda ya think?   Please advise …

Ally, Linda and I are off to the Frank Reese Annual Great American Turkey Roundup.  There should be pictures of the event here later today.

6/27/2009

JOIN THE FUN TONIGHT AT THE REC CENTER

Filed under: prairie musings, friends, Ellsworth, Kanopolis, Heritage turkeys/chickens — Peg Britton @ 11:28 am

The Star Spangled Spectacular fireworks display is tonight at 10:00 at the Rec Center.  Prior to the skyworks,  you can join family and friends for hot dogs, hamburgers and the yearly splurge in eating a funnel cake.  It’s an evening of fun for families, camaraderie and hanging out listening to music.  Don’t miss it.

Then ….get ready for FORT HARKER DAYS in  Kanopolis on July 10 & 11th and a  “Boot Scootin’ Good Time”.

It all starts on Friday, July 10 from 5:00 to 7:00 PM with a hamburger feed at Commanding Officer’s Quarters.   $5.00 donation per plate.   Sponsored by the Ellsworth County Historical Society.

You can recover from all this just in time to take part in the Wilson Czech Festival the end of July.  There is always something going on around here….so don’t let it escape your attention.

It’s only 87 degrees right now.  What a pleasant change from the recent heat wave.  My friend from Shreveport left today for Denver as her worldly treasures in her car that she’s relocating to Denver were being baked to death…computers, family pictures, electronic gizmo’s, CDs and stuff that isn’t supposed to be baked.  The “stuff” in her trunk was so hot we couldn’t even touch it.  She decided another day in our Kansas heat was too much to endure.  She made a good decision to move on but I miss her presence.

My friend, Lori in Denver, sent another side to the chicken story.  You can read about it here.  I do know what Ryon says is true.  I’ve struggled with him through his chicken  deaths and know how much care and attention he devotes to his flocks.  It is a constant battle as he won’t use the common preventative of constantly feeding his birds deadly chemicals as many do.  If he has to treat his birds for some illness, it’s only for a day or two.  A couple of friends of mine who are new to the chicken raising business have only a rare death now and then because the commercial feed they buy for them is loaded with  chemicals.  Read his comment in the following blog.  You’ll find it interesting.
Thanks for tuning in.

11/24/2008

FROM THE TURKEY LADY…

Filed under: prairie musings, friends, Heritage turkeys/chickens — Peg Britton @ 3:05 pm

Someone shot one of my Toms!!! Now I’m down to two Toms and one mildly relieved Helen. It sounds rather bleak but with the flock of wild ones we could add in another 30. Those guys are getting huge! This morning my husband and I were having coffee when we heard several LOUD thumps on the rooftop. Both of us were startled and ran to the window to see what was falling from the sky. It was the wild ones flying up in trees and flying up on the roof. Not very graceful landings and they crashed onto the rooftop. Anyway - there’s the update - 3 left going into winter.

Next Page »
Home

Powered by WordPress