Chaurice Sausage

Here’s another sausage recipe we’ve made a few times and enjoyed:  Creole Chaurice Sausage.  The recipe comes from the Times-Picayune Creole Cookbook from 1904.  Andouille is the Creole sausage that everyone’s heard of, but a well-made chaurice deserves as much recognition.  Its name indicates Spanish roots related to chorizo.  Chorizo has evolved along divergent paths, so chaurice doesn’t taste like the more commonly available Mexican chorizos, but it does share similarities with some Spanish fresh chorizos. I ran into one issue of ingredient ambiguity.  I don’t know for sure what they meant when… Read More

Chicken Mobile Home, Part 1

After years of using cobbled-together, disheveled shelters for the laying flock, I’ve decide it is time to build a substantial shelter. Three years ago a neighbor down the road gave us his old trailer.  He custom built it for for raising pigs so it had a shelter at one end and slatted wood decking.  The decking was rotted out, but we removed the shelter, bolted it to skids, and it has served us as a portable farrowing hut.  The trailer meanwhile languished in the weeds, acquiring a fine lichen patina. This week we dragged it out… Read More

Civics for Second Graders

Joshua Rockwood’s story has been making its rounds on social media. A pasture based farmer much like us, he faces several counts of animal cruelty for what appears to be normal farm conditions in the Northeast. The harsh winter has been hard on all of us, and it is both discouraging and alarming that rather than seeking to support Joshua, some in his community have chosen to attack him. Joshua seeks to be honest about the conditions on his farm.  He recounts his version of events on his blog here. Friends have… Read More

Three Hog Night

I haven’t found solid information on the origins the phrase “three dog night”, but it purportedly describes a night so cold one needs to sleep with three dogs to stay warm.  Pigs employ a similar strategy, only they don’t stop at three.  They pile on (hence another common porcine idiom, the football phrase “pig pile”) as many pigs as are available. Spring hasn’t been very effective this year.  Night time temperatures are still around five degrees and the wind has been sharp.  The pigs have the right strategy:  find a buddy (or a dozen… Read More

The New Krauterator 9000

Rachel has been making fermented vegetables for about five years now.  But in past years, this has been hard or impossible to accomplish from November through the beginning of May because our house is too cold.  We’ve tried placing sauerkraut crocks near the woodstove in the winter, but the ferments are unreliable.  This may be because it gets too hot near the stove at times or too cold overnight, or the problems may be related to the temperature fluctuations.  Whatever the reason, it wasn’t working for us. When Rachel asked me about making… Read More

Gender Studies

A few years ago everyone in tech began pretending they were onto something new and creative:  “Big Data Analytics”.  Big Data is one of those hoaxy terms that never meant much to start with, but after being dragged through the marketing mud for a few years it has become yet another completely worthless term.  But since everyone is doing their Big Data Analytics these days, maybe it’s time for Wrong Direction Farm to get into the game.  Big data for us isn’t all that big.  In fact, we were able to do all the analytics… Read More

Old Yeller and Pig Farming

Last week I read Old Yeller to the kids.  As our family is attuned to the agricultural details of books, it engendered some discussion of the livestock husbandry practices of the story’s Texas frontier settlers.  I can’t vouch for the historical accuracy of the account, but there was strong internal consistency and attention to detail, so I got the impression that the author, Fred Gipson, did thorough research.  Another factor lending credence is the agreement between Old Yeller and what I learned from reading Virginia DeJong Anderson’s scholarly work Creatures of Empire:  How Domestic Animals… Read More

You’re not going to eat that, are you? If not, I will.

Featured in the picture is Dumbledore, our Brown Swiss steer.  He is one of two heavier framed dairy breed steers that we kept over the winter.  In bovine eating etiquette, it isn’t considered impolite to step over a resting cow to get at a particularly tasty morsel.  We prefer to see assertive eaters.  Timid cattle get butted and battered away from the good feed by the more dominant cattle.  Less aggressive cattle just don’t do well in our winter feeding system, so those ones need to be culled before spending the winter bale grazing.  They do fine… Read More

Sweet Italian Sausage

I thought I’d put together a few blog posts on some of our favorite sausages and include the recipes we’re currently using.  Note the temporal adverb “currently”; these recipes are always under development. Probably the best place to start is Sweet Italian Sausage.  This is the workhorse sausage around here. Sausage really only needs a few things to be great:  ground meat, salt, and lots of fresh minced garlic. The first two make sausage, the third makes SAUSAGE. Here’s the recipe we used for the last batch.  We tried many recipes but we… Read More

Feeding the Farm Dog

The farm dog has an important role so we try to give an adequate compensation for the services rendered. Lando eats a local, organic, raw-foodist diet.  This isn’t any sort of carefully sequenced, portion controlled diet.  It is more of whatever comes to hand, and on a farm with livestock, there’s really no shortage of food for him.  One day it might be a stillborn piglet.  Or liver and bones left over from a pork order, since a lot of our customers don’t want the offal.  Or roadkill rabbit.  Or stomach caul fat, intestines, and skin on… Read More