We are proud to once again be partnering with Leaping Waters Farm in Alleghany Spring, Virginia to bring you Holiday Geese.
ABOUT THE FARM
Leaping Waters Farm
When Alec and Sarah Bradford met, they committed to working to feed their family from their 110 acres of farmland in Alleghany Spring, Virginia. Often describing their farming methods as “beyond organic,” the Bradfords ensure their animals are healthy and happy, with access to plenty of pasture and fresh forage. In addition to supplying us with the highest quality beef, this year Leaping Waters Farm will raise Embden and Toulouse geese.
Alec prefers raising geese to turkeys because turkeys need at least 20% of their forage diet supplemented by grain, but geese do not necessarily. In fact, he does not feed his breeding geese any additional grain, and only feeds whole corn in the last 6 weeks to fatten them up for Christmas. Geese happily eat grass in addition to legumes, which is beneficial at Leaping Waters Farm, as their fields are mostly alfalfa. Geese are the pinnacle of sustainability in fowl.
ABOUT THE BREED
Dating back at least 200 years, Embden Geese originated in—and take their name from—the Embden region of northwestern Germany. In 1821, this breed made its way to Boston and quickly became one of the most popular domesticated geese breeds.
Embden geese may be best known for their above-average size, most reaching about 3.3 feet in height and 20-30lbs in weight. This large size, as well as their docile temperament, point to a possible relation with the Toulouse breed. The Embden boasts brilliant white plumage, bright orange bills, and, perhaps most striking of all, vivid blue eyes.
Similar to the Toulouse, Embdens are rich and fatty birds, ideal for a festive holiday meal. Because these birds are active and athletic, known to enjoy a diet supplemented by kale and other leafy greens, the meat has a much subtler, more nuanced flavor with a less greasy texture than that of a commercial goose.
Information gathered from the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy website (http://albc-usa.org/) and Domestic Waterfowl Club of the United Kingdom (http://www.domestic-waterfowl.co.uk/embden.htm).