Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Hunting and Gathering

This morning I went to the feed store after droping the girls off at school.

I love the feed store. I always feel like my belt buckle is just way too small to be inside. The whole place feels so foreign and mysterious.

I bought a fifty-pound salt block to put out for hunting. Five dollars and fifty cents later, I was headed back to pick good spot to put it out. I carried the small white block on my shoulder down a little incline and put it a few feet away from the edge of the small branch the snakes through part of the property. The sandy bank is covered with tracks from pigs and deer. It's not deer season so I'm really only interested in the pigs. I never thought I would even know when deer season is, let alone be planning on shooting a few.

Growing up in the suburbs I never would have imagined myself hunting, but I figure I eat enough meat that I might as well man up and be willing do some of my own killing. If I don't like it, maybe I should switch to the broccoli diet or become a cheeseatarian.

I don't think I will have a problem with the shooting, but I might puke trying to butcher the damn thing.

So far, living out here I have had to kill a few snakes. I shot one rabbit that was trying to get into the garden (my only regret is using too big a gun--after the big kaboom, there was not enough left to eat), and one Nutria that I shot thinking it was an otter sleeping in the grass. That was only the fourth time I fired the 30-06, so I was just happy to hit was I aiming at.

The pastures that have been planted with pine trees are covered with wild blackberries this year. The pines are not even close to tall enough to choke anything out, and without anyone cutting for hay or brush control, the place is completely overgrown.

This morning I picked two pounds of wild berries, and two days before I picked about the same. The kids love them and luckily Luci knows how to do all that country stuff like make jams and jellies. If I keep picking every couple of days, I think the bushes will keep producing more berries, and the ones that are there will get bigger and ripen until the cycle ends.

I got an email from one of the beekeepers who answered my ad on Craigslist saying that the things they look for are berry plants, wildflowers and gardens. So hopefully someone will come and put bees out in exchange for honey.

We have seven chickens left and this the pile of eggs from this week. They lay faster than we can eat them. It doesn't help that neither of my kids are big egg eaters any more. Guess we burned them out on eggs. Hey, tell me why the kids will eat the inside of a deviled egg, but won't touch egg salad with a ten-foot pole? One of life's mysteries.

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