Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Shop Local: Poultry Farm Shop

This blog post combines two of my favorite things: Falconry and shopping in local farm shops!

It's perhaps not a post for vegetarians, but Kaya is not one of those and neither are we.

Our mentor showed me this farm shop in Neustetten, a tiny town about 18 km / 20 minutes from home. The big grocery store is just four minutes away by car. Is the drive worth it, with gas prices so high? 

ABSOLUTELY!!  (especially with our electric car...)

This is the shop connected to a chicken farm, and our mentor told us they slaughter on Mondays, which means on Tuesdays they have fresh chicken and chicken parts for sale. So whenever we're running low on tidbits for Kaya's training, I make a drive here on Tuesday morning. I buy two packs of Hühnermägen (chicken stomachs) and today I also picked up Hühnerherzen (chicken hearts).

Gross, you think? I beg your pardon! This is Swabia, where generations ago many people were poor. Nothing - or very little - from the animal, be it cow, pig or chicken, was wasted, and Innereien (offal, giblets) were turned into delicacies that are still enjoyed today. Ok, not by me, but when I told my Schwiegermutter what I'd bought this morning, she did not know if it was for Kaya or for us. A family friend has cooked Hühnermägen and according to her, M liked them when he was younger!

In fact I plan to get there within an hour of the shop opening, because I want to make sure they're not sold out of the giblets. Because the demand is perhaps not SO high, these bits are also not expensive. From one package I can get portions for 12 training sessions, and it only costs €2,50.

Hühnermägen rinsed and ready to be cut up for tidbits.
It's just meat, really.

This shop is not just about chickens. They sell fruits, vegetables, spices, fresh herbs, plants, flour, oil, canned and jarred goods, nuts, noodles, and today I saw traditional German Christmas treats like Zimtsterne, Lebkuchen and Schoko-Vanillekipferl

Later I spent half an hour cutting one package of Hühnermägen into tidbit pieces for training, and when we trained Kaya this afternoon she had fresh (not frozen-thawed) tidbits, which she must have enjoyed even more than usual.

At the end of training; she's still manteling
to let M know she'd happily take some more.

These local farm shops are one of the many reasons I love living where we do - basically out in the countryside. We will keep doing what we can to support these shops even though they're not as convenient as the big stores where all the goods arrive on delivery trucks from who-knows-where.

I bought more today than what Kaya needs, of course. I brought home some Hähnchenkeulen (drumsticks) to make Jamie Oliver's Hit-and-Run-Chicken, along with all the vegetables that go in it. Bananas, raspberries, and shelled walnuts topped off the items I snatched up. 

Their special for this week reflects another southern German tradition:

November 1st is Allerheiligen (All Saints' Day) and November 2nd is All Souls' Day. Allerheiligen is a stiller Feiertag here in the south, which means stores, schools and businesses are closed and people visit their relatives' graves, decorate them for the season, and light candles. The shop is offering Grabschmuck, or decorations and flowers most fitting for the pre-winter planting.

On the way home I stopped at another favorite family-owned shop - the bakery in our neighboring town. Fresh bread, rolls, croissants, and a sweet treat. Those were all for us humans, though. Kaya is all about the meat.

I wish you a happy end of October!

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