Well, we did it. It was somewhat of a rite of passage really, as 'farmers'.
We butchered our first chickens. Remember, we hadn't really wanted meat chickens in the first place, its just how it worked out.
We had a pretty tidy set up in the garden shed on the island. After installing a new range/oven in the house, we had the previous range to spare. We set it up with propane and had two active burners for boiling water. There is already a cold water running sink in the garden shed, with filtered drainage.
We had stools set next to buckets for comfortable plucking. We had strings to hang the fowl from, should we prefer to stand and deplume. We had great music playing from the solar speakers, and it was an absolutely beautiful day.
No matter how comfortable the conditions, it doesn't really prepare one (or make a person comfortable) for the shock that butchering is.
I will spare you the gruesome details, but I will do some quick farm finance.
We had thirteen chickens. The yield on those thirteen chickens was almost 100 lbs. They were 15 weeks old, and consumed an incredibly large amount of corn grain. 50 lbs every two weeks. Based on the average price per bag of grain, each Chicken cost $13.83 from hatch to hatchet, but we also got the experience of butchering them ourselves.
Needless to say, our local butcher need not worry about us becoming competition. This will not be something we will be doing again, but we are grateful for the know how, should we ever need to.
For no other reason than we did not have enough freezer space in our micro fridge, we offered the chickens up to friends and neighbors. Seven different families enjoyed our Hush Valley Chickens, and we felt pretty good about that. Several people even sent pictures of what they were doing with their bounty.
New casita update: The lot is getting closer to completion, and the skeletal frame of the new casita should be in place tomorrow. The casita will be placed in such a position that, though it overlooks the rock garden and river, it is not visible from the original casita, nor the house. Each casita still retains the feeling of exclusivity and privacy, while having an uncompromised view of the beauty that is Hush Valley. We're pretty excited about that.
With school starting again in two weeks, we are headed out of town for a few days.
Hush Valley Lodge is about 2 hours from San Jose (Juan Santa Maria) Airport. We have driven, and found it's about $35 in gas each way, and $200 for a week of parking. $200 more if you go even one day into the next week. Its quite unaffordable.
We have taken a cab and found it's about $125 USD each way.
We have asked a friend to drive us. That cost about $40 in gas, and almost a friendship. Traffic was horrifying and the GPS got us lost several times.
So this time, we are trying the bus.
We went into Santa Maria today and purchased 3 future one way tickets on a direct bus to San Jose for $3.54 per person. I sure hope this works out, because that's much more affordable transportation.
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Dave and Krista are a couple from the Pacific Northwest that led overwhelmingly busy lives.
Click here to pick up your copy of Anne's book! It's all about their adventure and the establishment of Hush Valley Lodge: from leaving their middle-class suburban lifestyle in Canada to reinventing themselvess in the beautiful mountains of Costa Rica. Check it out and if you enjoy it, please spread the word! Thanks!