We drove 35 miles down to Moose Manor Farms, LLC in Nanjemoy, Maryland this morning (Sunday, December, 18, 2016) to pick-up the goose (turned out, it is a male, so actually should be called a gander) we had reserved in late October. It was gray and overcast, but surprisingly warm, with the temperature at 64º and the occasional drizzle. Given yesterday we awoke to 27º and freezing rain, today’s warmth was a pleasant change.
Driving south on a Sunday morning, we saw lots of church parking lots full of cars, and more than a couple were letting go services as we passed. There were plenty of Christmas decorations to see, too. One house that really caught our eye had what looked like at least eight inflatable displays, but they were all deflated. I’m sure they look much better at night when lit and inflated, but during they day they seemed kind of sad.
One of the reasons I started this website was because I was looking for a goose for Christmas. Digging around online, Moose Manor Farms was one of the few places I found that offered them. I thought if I was interested in finding such places, other folks would be, too. The farm is run by Dana Kee. She offers eggs, pork, and specializes in heritage fowl — turkeys, ducks and geese.
The heritage breeds include Narragansett Turkeys, Ancona and Dutch Hookbill ducks, and is a Pilgrim Gander (male goose). Kee told us she had harvested all but one of the males the previous day, so there will be a lot less fighting in the yard now (the females are kept for egg laying, and the remaining male will help breed the next generation).
We had our first heritage Turkey at Thanksgiving, and are looking forward to our first Christmas goose. The heritage breeds tend to have less meat on them, but more flavor, and they can typically be cooked at lower temperatures.
For more information about Dana Kee and Moose Manor Farms, you might want to check out this article “Heritage Turkeys Make A Comeback, But To Save Them We Must Eat Them” on the NPR website, featuring an interview with Kee and photos of her and some of her turkeys. A video interview about raising heritage waterfowl is also available online as part of Maryland Public Television’s Maryland Farm and Harvest program, Episode 404 (jump to minute 19:47 for the segment on Dana Kee and Moose Manor Farms). Enjoy!♦