Happy Thanksgiving: Delayed Cranes and Pigs Edition

As longtime readers know, I like to focus my Thanksgiving gratitude on the Michigan farmers who provide the remarkable diversity of crops Mr. EW and I eat year round. Aside from olive oil and spices, you can source almost your entire Thanksgiving dinner from local Michigan farmers and I try to be intentional about who provides this meal. Among the providers who helped bring us dinner tonight, we thank:

  • Green Wagon Farm: Year-round greens, rutabegas, other veggies
  • Visser Farm: Spuds and carrots grown down the street from where I lived for a year
  • Hilhof Dairy: Truly exceptional dairy products
  • MOO-ville Creamery: Lots and lots of butter
  • Loves Ice Cream: Because my brother, who’s an ice cream addict, has joined us this year
  • Founders Mosaic Promise: Because the Lions game is going to suck especially bad this year
  • 2 Lads Winery: Yes, the wine comes from MI too
  • Pioneer Sugar: Even the commodity crops come from MI
  • The backyard: The Jerusalem artichokes (used in the stuffing) and herbs come from my own garden

Mr. EW and I have a special relationship with our meat farmers, Crane Dance Farm, two women who raise cows, pigs, lamb, chickens, and turkeys using humane principles. We’ve been buying our meat from them for years and gotten to be friends over that time.

Along with our meat, I get a sense of how the changing climate affects those farming the land from Jill and Mary.

This year, the cranes after which Jill named the farm, for example, came late, 20 days after the day they have arrived for decades. During that period Jill raised the missing birds every Saturday with a worried voice. They finally returned to the farm.

Then in the fall, the pork stopped, the delayed result of a significant drop-off in births much earlier in the year. Jill and Mary finally fattened enough pigs to slaughter just weeks before Thanksgiving (thankfully, given that my family tradition is cooking out turkey topped with bacon).

It’s not certain either of these things are due to the changing weather, though that’s a likely explanation. Meanwhile, Philadelphia had to pull the balloons from the Mummers parade on account of the high wind that, just days ago, ravaged the disappearing beaches here in Michigan.

I’m grateful for Michigan’s bounty. Unless we start doing something about the climate emergency, it may not be there very long.

47 replies
  1. Pete T says:

    Happy Thanksgiving to you, Mr. EW, your family and let’s not forget the former terrorist dog, June Bug, now a permanent family member.

    Also to bmaz, Rayne, Ed, Jim and others that post and all that comment here.

    I am better informed because of you all and very thankful for that.

  2. P J Evans says:

    I used to grow garden lilies in pots outside. It’s gotten too warm for them here. (Frost used to be an annual thing. It’s now iffy.)
    Packet of pink salmon for dinner – not sure how I’m going to use it – but it’s something I rarely have and I will thank the beneficent deities for it.

  3. Ed Walker says:

    This year we have a smoked turkey from Paulina Market, home of the best smoked meats in Chicago; also home of the smoked thuringer brat, a true revelation for a guy who didn’t grow up here.

    Happy Thanksgiving to one and all!

    • emptywheel says:

      The girls at Crane Dance do smoked birds as well. I’ll get one later and spread it out over a ton of meals where I’d otherwise use ham.

  4. Pajaro says:

    Eight inches of snow and still falling here, haven’t seen that much at once in years. My 16 or so turkeys are on the shed roof and corral fence weathering the falling snow–rugged birds. Once again put off sacrificing a few for the freezer but the older ones are due. Cooking posole on the stove, the aroma filling this old adobe is wonderful!

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  5. rosalind says:

    happy happy, all! thanks to our hosts for shining light in these dark times, and the fabulous ever-growing family of commenting folks.

    for anyone in need of a fun read this weekend, encourage you to check out J Ryan Stradal’s two novels: “The Lager Queen of Minnesota” and “Kitchens of the Great Midwest”. Both set in Minnesota, with lots of cooking and brewing, and very kind characters.


  6. earlofhuntingdon says:

    T is for time to be together, turkey, talk, and tangy weather.
    H for harvest stored away, home, and hearth, and holiday.
    A for autumn’s frosty art, and abundance in the heart.
    N for neighbors, and November, nice things, new things to remember.
    K for kitchen, kettles’ croon, kith and kin expected soon.
    S for sizzles, sights, and sounds, and something special that abounds.
    That spells — THANKS — for joy in living and a jolly good Thanksgiving.

    — Aileen Fisher

  7. Jim White says:

    Enjoy the bounty, all. Our family won’t feast until tomorrow so that our daughters can spend today with the families of their significant others. While I’m not going particularly local, this year I’m focusing on virtually everything from scratch, except for the pie shells. Scratch-made green bean casserole turns out to be a really good thing. And we’re adding fresh-baked rolls this year, too.

    It’ not just a food bounty, though. The community here in the wheelhouse is matched nowhere else. Thanks to everyone for being who you are and for your help in keeping the darkness at bay just a bit longer.

    • posaune says:

      Thanks to you Jim, for sharing the joy of your new grand babies
      That little RJ is the cutest little boy ever! And even cuter in the photos with you! (need pics of the new one, now).Congratulations!

  8. gmoke says:

    We know how to reduce atmospheric carbon to pre-industrial levels (270 ppm) but it isn’t technologically glamorous. If we enhanced existing ecological systems to repair the damage we’ve done with the techniques and methods we already know, reputable scientists believe we could get to that 270 ppm level of CO2 in the atmosphere by the end of the century if not before.

    Too bad very few people in the climate community are actually looking at these ideas.

    Here are some resources for this emerging field of geotherapy (not geoengineering at all at all):

    Here are some resources on the topic of geotherapy, using existing ecological systems to repair the damage homo sap sap (that sap) has done:

    Geotherapy: Innovative Methods of Soil Fertility Restoration, Carbon Sequestration, and Reversing CO2 Increase

    Biodiversity for a Livable Climate’s many fine conferences proceedings

    Healing Earth by John Todd

    For more generalized discussion of carbon drawdown, here are the video proceedings of a recent conference on that subject at Penn:

    Happy Thanksgiving. And thanks to Marcy and the whole Emptywheel crew for keeping this empty wheel rolling. It is much appreciated.

    • PSWebster says:

      sorry to be the shithead to post how stupid the GeoTherapy post is. The reason no one, very few, talk and propound this nonsense that we can manipulate the atmosphere by geoengineering is that it is far too dangerous; any snapback from a failed attempt will be catastrophically worse. .

      Leave it in the ground. We live on a fixed sink of a rock and the sink is too full. So far all attempts at CO2 removal do not scale, do not work.

      Geoengineering = Non Sense.
      Saludos a todos @ emptywheel

      • gmoke says:

        November 29, 2019 at 8:06 am
        sorry to be the shithead to post how stupid the GeoTherapy post is. The reason no one, very few, talk and propound this nonsense that we can manipulate the atmosphere by geoengineering is that it is far too dangerous; any snapback from a failed attempt will be catastrophically worse. .”

        Geotherapy is NOT geoengineering. Geoengineering is a brute force intervention into complex atmospheric systems with resulting unforeseen consequences.

        Geotherapy is using existing ecological systems to repair the damage our species has done. It is a systems solution, using ecological design to enhance the performance of existing ecologies to remove CO2 and other greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. One works WITH natural processes (geotherapy) and the other works OVER and ABOVE natural processes (geoengineering).

        You have mistaken geotherapy for geoengineering and are arguing not with me but yourself and your mistaken reading of my post. I say geotherapy, working with ecological systems systemically, instead of geoengineering, a simplistic solution that has no respect for existing systems.

        My approach to climate change is
        100% renewables ASAP
        zero emissions economy ASAP
        carbon drawdown ASAP
        geotherapy (not geoengineering) ASAP

        Sorry I can’t fulfill the strawman position in your misreading of my words, especially since I believe the present level of thinking on geoengineering is woefully inadequate to the task, no matter what David Keith, whom I’ve argued with in person, may say.

  9. Mitch Neher says:

    I’m sorry. But . . . I am truly grateful for The Whistleblower, and Dr. Fiona Hill, and David Holmes, and Jennifer Williams, and Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, and George Kent, and William Taylor and . . . Laura Cooper, and . . . The Right Honorable Chairman Adam Schiff.

    Perhaps I’ve lost sight of . . . the big picture? The best things in life? Pumpkin pie?

    I still have every reason to believe that gratitude is not subject to command, either. I give it freely, instead.

  10. Worried says:

    Have the mince pie ready for Thanksgiving sharing with family in memory of Mom.
    I am thankful for this wonderful group of thoughtful people that I stumbled upon years ago.
    Happy Thanksgiving to all and your families.

  11. foggycoast says:

    to all the denizens of EW, y’all bring alot of knowledge, sanity and humor into the world and for that i am thankful.

  12. dimmsdale says:

    I’d just like to add my thanks to Marcy, Rayne, Bmaz, Mr. White & Mr. Walker. This is a marvelous assemblage of temperament and learning that I benefit from multiple times daily. To this I would add my thanks to the regular commenters, not a few of whom astonish me on a regular basis with their depth of erudition and generosity in putting it forth.

    Happy Thanksgiving to all and good luck to ALL of us, and the nation, in the momentous year to come.

  13. Michael Schmitt says:

    Ms. Wheel: No mention of the Cherry Capital of the World in your backyard, those wonderful tart cherries grown up and down your coast? I’ve enjoyed 5-gallon buckets of cherry juice concentrate from one of the big companies up in Traverse. The best taste ever.

    • P J Evans says:

      Rhubarb growing, too. (It’s hard to find frozen in stores, though I know that exists. Fresh is very seasonal.)

  14. posaune says:

    Much gratitude to all here: EW, bmaz, Rayne, jim, Ed, EoH, rosalind, punaise, and all from whom I learn so much with sanity and humor. A very extraordinary bunch.

  15. Eureka says:

    It was hard to sleep with those 50+ MPH wind gusts, the house felt like a ship at sea. The late cranes: I cannot believe this calendar year has flown so fast, I remember comparing notes with Rayne last winter (but into 2019 already) on some _very late_ ducks or geese in each of our respective areas (the sudden noise of the flock at night startled, they were so late). All of this weather variability does make life tricky. Our family future includes nurturing honeybees and blackberries, but it’s hard to schedule time off for the right seasonal moment to do transplants, etc., when you need to read the spring so close to real-time. I enjoy reading about your farmers succeeding amidst all of these adjustments, while sad that such adjustments are become ever-commoner and harder to gauge.

    Thank you all for the soaring community.

  16. e.a.f. says:

    HAPPY THANKSGIVING! Its great you can source your food locally. its better for the environment, creates local jobs, and the food is fresher. That turkey looks good. If it weren’t for the fact Michigan is such a long way away, I’d drop by and have a second Thanksgiving dinner. Had ours in October but hey one can not be too thankful or have too much turkey and gravy.

  17. klynn says:

    EW, bmaz, Rayne, Jim, Ed, EoH, and emptywheel friends:

    Hope all have had a Thanksgiving filled with care, family and friends.

    Thank you EW for all your tireless work and standing up to speak truth to power.
    On a personal note, thank you for inspiring my family to source our Thanksgiving local. We have challenges, with a few children facing food allergies, but we manage to a fair job sourcing our menu.

    Loved our heirloom turkey roasted with bacon this year!

  18. Molly Pitcher says:

    I am thankful for Emptywheel in its entirety. All of you have created a port in a very stormy year. What a rare gift to have found such intelligent, hardworking, dedicated, funny and sincere people. Blessings to you all.

  19. Re entry says:

    Thank you all emptywheel

    Not sure what my perspective of things would be if it were not for this beacon of truth and insight


  20. Chelle says:

    First time poster, long time lurker (since FDL), I am beyond grateful for the knowledgeable expertise, sanity and humor disseminated by EW and crew to make sense of a world gone mad. In that tradition of speaking truth to power (and as a native Philadelphian), may I offer Mummer’s clarification? Yesterday, Philly hosted the 100th edition of the Thanksgiving Day Parade and, yes, due to very high winds the balloons were grounded. The Mummers Parade is our New Years’ Day tradition, officially parading since 1901 but, unofficially, since the birth of the nation. Both traditions, a microcosm of everything that’s wrong, but everything that’s right about American life.

    • bmaz says:

      Hi Chelle, and welcome! Delurk and join in more often. I would swear I kind of recognize your screen name, did you comment at FDL while we were there? At any rate, good to see you and happy holidays.

  21. fpo says:

    Well we celebrated Thanksgiving with a e-device-free day so…a belated Turkey Day shout out to Marcy and the entire EW crew, and commentors. Thank you for your tireless reporting, insight and gracious wit.

    • bmaz says:

      Jim Roy, it is a fine time to say hi. And we welcome you, but for gawd sakes, quit lurking and talk to us more often. If you have been reading that long, then you know who we are, for better or worse, and know you fit in quite well.

  22. joel fisher says:

    Cool Michigan stuff: Michigan is the Saudi Arabia of fresh water; best beer in the country, Old Nation M-43; Trump is -13 in Michigan; Motown; and last on my impromptu list, Emptywheel.

  23. Theresa N says:

    Happy Thanksgiving to Marcy & the EW community! I am thankful for Marcy’s willingness to track/interpret court filings & the limitless stream of information into interesting & informative analysis. She is truly a human Palantir. I enjoy the various perspectives & contributions of the posters & now readily recognize a lot of you. I look to this community for its intel & analysis, & enjoy when the personalities show through! Loved hearing about the local vendors Mr & Mrs EW use & photo of that beautiful delicious looking turkey!

  24. AJChar says:

    Many years ago hubby & I lived in North Detroit suburbia. Just the two of us, I usually cooked cornish hens. Here in Charlotte we usually go over to one of my brothers’ houses, two live nearby. Hope you had a happy Thanksgiving.

    I sometimes miss Michigan and then I remember winter :)

  25. quebecois says:

    I’ve been going to Jean-Talon market most of my life. Since 1995, It’s been a twice weekly tradition. One central alley leads to 4 side alleys and a bunch of boutiques around the square. 15 years ago, I was talking to my favorite veggy lady, and she was saying is that there was no family succession for these farmers. During winter, they wall off the center aisle and to my great sorrow, this year a third of the stands are empty. I was talking to one of the corporation head last week, he told me that next summer’s market would be decimated like this winter’s. The big corporate farms and their politicians are killing family farming in Québec. My favorite maple sugar syrup stand is closed, my favorite corn stand is closed, my veggy lady is gone too…

    • punaise says:

      C’est bien triste, mon vieux. When punaisette lived in Montreal she frequented that market on weekend forays for fruit and veggies.

      Farming seems vibrant in Nova Scotia, however. When she lived in Halifax we visited Annapolis Valley and other areas that didn’t appear to be in decline. The produce in the Halifax Farmers Market was pretty tempting – in the summer at least!

  26. r helder says:

    thanks to marcy and the ew community! you lower my blood pressure and give me hope for the future of the republic

  27. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Bmaz seems to like his Irish Whiskey in a cake. Here’s a recipe I like, but it needs a tweek. I would add another egg, another half cup of raisins, a handful of lemon zest, and change the granulated sugar to light brown. Soak the lemon zest, raisins and whiskey for a few hours. Enjoy.

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