Pig Roast this Weekend. If you haven't been to our Customer Appreciation Picnic, you should really try to make it out with us this weekend. Check-in starts at 1 PM with activities available for the kids immediately, including face painting, pumpkin painting, and apple bobbing. At 2 PM we have the egg toss competition and 2:30 is the Sack Race. Clark, Adam, and I will carve the pig at 3 PM and we'll all eat lunch!
It looks like the weather will be great so please bring the family and join us. We do suggest that you register first so we can have enough tables, etc.
The registration link is: Customer Appreciation Potluck
Salmon Run. As Wow, we had a good response to this year's salmon club. In fact, we sold out of the whole pallet in just a day!
I talked to Heidi, our fisherlady, and she is going to cut more fish for us from her inventory. We don't have a date yet on the second pallet of salmon, but likely late October or early November. Preorders are available online now. at http://csalogin.freshforkmarket.com
About the salmon: Heidi has been fishing the Nushagak River outside of Dillingham, Alaska, for 20 years. She started when she was 15! The general area is referred to as the Bristol Bay.
These are wild caught Sockeye salmon. Heidi grades them out by hand and each center-cut filet portion is flash frozen and vacuum packed. The shelf life is about a year on them. I'm still eating my salmon from last year's supply.
We are selling the second pallet mostly by the case as that seems to be what was in demand most. The price is $165 per 10# case. $7 portions are also available still online.
Please preorder your salmon for deliver in late October or early November. We'll email you about this delivery schedule once Heidi is confirms with us the shipping date. Order at http://csalogin.freshforkmarket.com
Thanksgiving Turkeys: FAQs We have been getting a ton of questions about Thanksgiving Turkeys. Here is a quick FAQ to answer your questions:
1) When do I need to order my turkey? In all honesty, we likely won't sell out. I'm raising a lot of turkeys this year. What we don't use in our Thanksgiving packages will be used to make turkey patties and turkey breast lunchmeat. That being said, PLEASE RSVP your turkey early. There is a lot of administrative work that goes on in our office to make sure we fill your Thanksgiving order properly, including confirming your pickup location and order. The more time we have the better!
Package 1 and the Heritage Birds will likely be the only two items to sell out before Thanksgiving.
2) How big of a turkey should I get? My answer: As big as it will fit in your oven! What is wrong with some leftovers? In all seriousness, you can always cook half the bird or just freeze the cooked meat afterwards.
We do suggest usually 1.25# of turkey per guest. That's pre-cooked. By the time you trim the bones out and everyone selects whether they like dark or white meat, you end up having about the right amount. So a 12 person party needs a 16# bird or bigger.
3) What is the difference between a tom and hen? In flavor, nothing. In fact, I meant to change the wording on those this year. Tom (male) is usually larger than the hen (female). Tom turkeys come in around 20# and up (historically they have been larger) and the hens between 14 and 17 lbs. In terms of flavor, they taste the same and cook the same.
4) Fresh or Frozen? I can guarantee there isn't a quality difference between fresh and frozen turkeys (at least the one's we freeze). However, the Thanksgiving turkeys we buy ARE FRESH. In fact, we "harvest" them the Monday and Tuesday before Thanksgiving and you get them the next day. Crazy huh? Yeah, Mike and I don't sleep those days as we are constantly shuffling trucks to the processor.
5) How long will the turkey last in my fridge? A fresh turkey kept cold will be fresh for 7 to 8 days after the kill. I suggest rinsing the bird when you get it home with cold water and putting back into a clean bag. Place the turkey in the back of your refrigerator (coldest part).
If you are planning on cooking your bird the weekend or week after Thanksgiving, you will be fine.
6) How happy are your turkey's right now? I've been practicing my clucks, my purrs, crackles, and yelps, and from what I can gather in conversation with the birds, they are really happy.
I do play around some with the turkey call in my truck, but I can't translate! The birds are outside and having fun. At Leroy's farm, they are running around in the corn stalks (see last year's almanac article about Leroy's birds HERE on Page 37) and at Aden's farm we actually had to move most of the Heritage birds to a deer pen up the road. The Heritage Birds were all flying out of the pen and roaming the farm, roosting with the hogs and on fences near the cattle.
All of our turkeys are pasture raised (outside all the time) and fed a supplemental diet of non-gmo grain mixture. No birds receive antibiotics or hormones.
I think you will find these slow growth birds to be quite tasty.
7) How do I pre-order my turkey? Turkey preorders can be placed online at http://csalogin.freshforkmarket.com.
More Details about our Thanksgiving offerings here: http://freshforkmarket.com/thanksgiving/
You may also download an order form at: http://freshforkmarket.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/2014-Thanksgiving-form.pdf
Winter Season. The Fresh Fork Market winter session starts the week of November 3rd. For those who have done it before, you can attest to the fun. We start with 3 consecutive deliveries then start every other week schedule to skip the holidays. The winter season is 15 deliveries and it lasts until mid-May. There is only one size bag (essentially the summer large bag) and no vegetarian or vegan options available (such options wouldn't be a fair value in the winter). The bag comes out to $45 per delivery, which is every other week.
We've been working hard to get ready for the season. A few weeks ago I made an impromptu drive to upstate New York to buy an automatic bean snipper. This machine trims the tails and tips off of green beans and wax beans at a rate of 1,000# per hour! This made is possible for us to buy Jonas Hershberger's 6,000# of beans last week. Yeah, we put a few beans away already. Here are a few photos of it in action.
We've also been using the corn husker and cutter that I bought last fall to process sweet corn. We've already put about 15,000# of sweet corn into the freezer for the winter.
Other frozen vegetables include peas, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and diced heirloom tomatoes. Clark Pope and some of our other producers have been working hard as well to "put up" tomatoes into sauce and other preserves for you this winter.
Full details about the winter season and registration can be found here: Winter Season Details