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School visit

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Post by Chilli-head on 2nd October 2015, 10:53 am

Now C-H Jnr is a teenager, it is approaching time for a new school (we have a 3 tier system here); last night was the open evening at the local upper school.

We are lucky that within a very short walk we have an "outstanding" state school. The academic records are great in the subjects that really matter, and there seems to be a great wealth of alternative stuff for the students to take part in either as GCSE's or extra curricular.

But what has this to do with meat, I hear you thinking. Well, the school has a farm too. And we are not talking the sort of thing my school had back when, a sort of glorified petting farm for the younger kids. Oh no. They have pigs, a flock of sheep, a hundred or so turkeys, geese, chickens, quail, and probably more I've forgotten. And the students (if they chose to) do everything, and I mean everything, including slaughtering the meat birds, and dealing with aspects of sheep healthcare that would certainly make your average city type go "euwww !"

I was well impressed to see the range of things offered for those who don't fit the pure academic route through life.

They also have a farm shop, with their own eggs, pork (including sausages, wurst, etc), and other produce as available. I feel a bit guilty for not supporting them more - the shop is open Saturday mornings, I should at least go to them for my eggs !
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Post by Dandelion on 2nd October 2015, 7:34 pm

That sounds completely brilliant CH. The schools in our (small rural) town were sadly reorganised when Comprehensives came into being. This meant that a Grammar school, a secondary modern, and a small school specialising in Rural Science were all merged in one large soulless building. No-one was happy, and the area lost a great asset. The Rural Science school was housed in an ex-stately home in the middle of nowhere, and sounds like the school you went to see, CH.
The school I work at is in the city, but we have many students who travel in from the country, particularly from farms, and there is no provision at KS3 or 4 for any who want to farm when they leave school.

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Post by Ploshkin on 3rd October 2015, 2:58 pm

That is fantastic CH. How refreshing to hear that they do the whole 'gate to plate' experience. Too many things are sanitised these days (or as Mr P would say 'Disneyfied'). We are heading for a serious shortage of young farmers in the UK so anything like this is bound to help. Does CH jnr have any interest in that direction?
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Post by Chilli-head on 6th October 2015, 12:40 pm

Ploshkin wrote:We are heading for a serious shortage of young farmers in the UK so anything like this is bound to help.  Does CH jnr have any interest in that direction?

Not terribly likely, I'm afraid.  He is more interested in tecnological stuff, like many young people.

The difficulty of attracting young people into agriculture / farming seems to be a worldwide one. Years ago I did a couple of stints as a visiting worker at a Japanese agricultural research institute. In Japan the average age of farmers is 65.9, according to The Japan Times.  As a result they had funding for a range of automation projects that were a two pronged attack on the problem - the obvious reason being to provide a means of coping with less manual labour input, but with the hidden agenda of "tech-ing up" the image of farming to encorage the young to become involved.

My day job relates to high-tech agricultural machinery, and we see this effect in a range of countries. We probably rather benefit from this crisis, but it is depressing that it is part, IMHO, of a much bigger problem that people who work with their hands, and perceived non-academic subjects are not given much respect.  Which is why I say kudos to this school for being inclusive, and catering for those who are interested in that sort of direction.
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Post by Chilli-head on 24th December 2017, 10:42 am

The school farm department is not joined up with business studies I see ! We just collected our turkey from them. They significantly overdelivered (20lbs, only just fits the oven) and offered a discount on the originally agreed price because it was too big.

There are only three of us ... turkey leftover recipies anyone ?
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Post by Ploshkin on 24th December 2017, 12:33 pm

Oh heck, and I was concerned about my 9lb chicken.
Actually on a non commercial scale it's very difficult to control the output precisely.  My chickens caught me on the hop with their growth rate and even though I processed them a bit sooner than usual they were all 8lbs plus.  (I usually get them 5 - 7 lbs.)
Perhaps they ended up with more cocks than expected so were short on smaller birds.
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Post by freebird on 24th December 2017, 12:50 pm

Is it worth jointing it and freezing some of the portions? Don't know how achievable that is in reality as I've never done it.
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Post by Ploshkin on 24th December 2017, 2:42 pm

It's very easy to joint a chicken, that's what I have done with all of my monsters apart from the Christmas dinner one.  You would need a fair bit of brute force to break the leg joint away from the body
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Post by Chilli-head on 24th December 2017, 6:14 pm

The legs are off and in the freezer, they will each do as a meal for 3. Other bits in the stock pot. It was fairly easy once I'd sharpened my cleaver.

We'll use the spare cooked meat and stock to make a Mexican mole - with a sauce of roasted garlic, peppers and of course chilli.
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Post by Dandelion on 26th December 2017, 11:59 am

Chilli-head wrote:It was fairly easy once I'd sharpened my cleaver.


Surely this is a subtitle from a Nordic noir thriller?

................................................................................................................................
The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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