Dueling Geese

Back in Illinois, we called ourselves “Rolling Goose Farm.” It was basically an elaborate pun; we figured we were the only family in Ford County with two old Volvo 240s. The word “Volvo,” in Swedish, means “rolling.” And we raised geese. Put it all together, and you get “Rolling Goose.” Here is the logo we had a friend design; we used it on our farm sign and on egg carton labels, etc. It basically shows one of our geese commandeering our 1978 Volvo 244 (after having chopped the top).

And yes, one customer actually asked us, “Did that ever really happen?”

Anyway, because “goose” is in the name of our farm, and we’re listed on a number of internet farm directories, we seem to turn up on everybody’s search…and as a result, we get quite a few inquiries about geese for sale. And we have to turn most of them away, as we can’t ship goose meat.

Usually, these inquiries end at Christmas time. But today, I got an amusing call from a gentleman in Arizona who was looking for goose. Actually, two geese. He has a friend from Europe (many of our goose customers are European immigrants) who really likes to cook goose. And my caller says he really likes to cook goose, too. That friend will be coming to Arizona soon to visit, and they’re trying to organize a cook-off. They were trying to get two large fresh geese from one farm, go head-to-head cooking them, and then have a large gathering of friends and family judge the winner.

“Sounds like Dueling Banjos!” I laughed. If I had more musical talent, I might have attempted to do the song’s opening riff, but with “Honk-a-honk-honk-honk.” Instead, I added, “Wish I could be there to sample that.”

“I wish you could, too!” he chuckled.

And then I explained that we can’t ship our meat…and that he’d have a tough time finding anyone — even local — that has fresh geese at this time of year. Goslings have a very limited hatching period (basically February-June…our birds just started laying this week), and cannot be raised off-season. To be any good for eating, geese must be butchered in their first year of life, and nearly every gosling ends up getting butchered for Christmas. Any goose left from last year’s hatch would be likely be intended as a breeder, as they’d be borderline too tough for eating now.

He appreciated talking with me about how geese are raised, and I enjoyed hearing about what he’d like to do. He’ll probably end up getting a couple of six pound frozen geese at Whole Foods…but I still wish I could be there to sample the results.

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