Planting Summer Seeds- a beginning
The day started with a conference call about how we are going to make the new book. Where do we start, how to publish it, who wants to read it, what will people think? Navigating new waters as ‘artisan publishers’, maybe I should say ‘farmstead publishing’ instead, looks like it’s going to be fun! Daunting, confusing, scary…but ultimately a F.U.N. ride.
So after a session of setting up the bones of this long creative collaboration called Clinch-Hill, I set out to the market with a list of errands to do. After all, Saturday we do chores, right? The morning led from market (duck sausage, paté grand-mere, & a jambonneau from Patricia, tomatoes, eggs and the most amazing slab of melting Gorgonzola from Bernard) to café (un pression & un galopin of Stella from Thierry). Then from café to farm to pick up a few things left from the last crop of butchery students at the Chapolard’s.
Turning off the road to Mezin just after the giant coop silo, I started down the bumpy kilometer long track to Baradieu. Stop.
This is where I began the day, talking about the seed to sausage concept behind the French Farmstead Charcuterie book. These are the ripening fields of spring barley and the wheat planted last November that will be fed to the pigs that will be nourished for a year then butchered into charcuterie to be salted, cured and dried… in the house that Chapolards built.
At Ferme Baradieu, the first step in making good, traditional, artisan, farmstead charcuterie is growing the food to feed the animals. Not all farmstead butchers/charcutiers do this, but the Chapolards do. They set the bar high for me many moons ago. Growing good meat means feeding the animals the best food possible. The Chapolards attend to this part of the farm with the same care as animal husbandry and skillful butchery. Fields are turned, fed and farrowed. Planted, watered and harvested. When ready, the wheat, barley (and corn, oats & fava beans) are collected, stored and then fed to the growing pigs- 500 of them. After a year, the pigs themselves are ‘harvested’ and made into saucisson, coppa, jambon and ventreche. Just think… it all began with a seed.