Usually I attempt to come up with some clever and catchy sort of headline for my blogs. But not this time. This post is truly about a pair of socks I bought made of possum. That’s right – possum.
I have to admit – when I first heard about the socks, I thought those silly Kiwis were pulling my leg. I was traveling in New Zealand and a discussion about how cold it got in Wyoming brought up what our hosts swore were the warmest socks known to man – possum socks. I was understandably skeptical, thinking surely no one would use the fur off that ugly little animal, the possum (for reference, the cute animal on the sock packaging is a Kiwi bird). To refresh your memory, a possum is pictured below. Not cute, right?
However, once the words “warmest socks EVER” were in my mind, I was a woman obsessed. Since we weren’t really on the tourist track, I was forced to wait until the return flight home to see and purchase the socks in the duty-free section of the airport. And guess what – they were right. My feet actually sweat in these socks, which is saying something. Like most females of my species, I suffer from perpetual cold feet syndrom. Not so in these socks. They aren’t 100% possum but a blend of merino wool (42%), possum (33%), nylon (21%) and lycra (4%) – and 100% deliciously warm.
If someone (granted, in New Zealand) is making socks out of possum, I wonder what other fibers are out there that are beyond my realm of consideration? A women in my knitting class stated that she had garbage bags full of hair from her past dogs and was planning on spinning it into a yarn which she would use to knit something, which just goes to show: no matter how special you think your socks are, there’s always someone more special (read: C-R-A-Z-Y).
I mean that literally. If you were a chicken instead of a human, you would want to be a chicken at Pasture Poultry in Rangitikei, New Zealand. The reasons are are numerous, but the list of things that humans value most for quality of life is startlingly similar to what makes a great life for a chicken.
Do you like to know where your food comes from? Pasture Poultry takes the locavore movement to the next level as their chickens can literally see where their food comes from- all the feed is grown (organically, or course) just a few hops down from their own residential pasture. Just as humans love space to roam, these chickens are organic and free-range chicken in the truest sense of the word with oodles of pastures and other farm oddities to occupy their time. In fact, I noticed a favorite dust-bath location just happens to be under a seldom used tractor. While I don’t think it’s the wisest of places to hang out, chickens aren’t really known for their intelligence, either.
As for the inarguable law of the food chain, Kiwi chickens have it easy. There are no coyotes, foxes, wolves or bears. In fact, the occasional hawk is biggest chicken threat, and if chickens had the brains to run inside when the hawks circled above, that would be the end of that.
So if reincarnation turns out to be an actual thing and you get a turn at being a chicken, ask for Pasture Poultry. Just watch out for the farmer’s son, Pete. He’s all grown-up now (and practiced as a veterinarian for a time!) but he has a trick that involving putting chickens down for a 10 second nap by way of motion sickness (or so it would seem to me). Check out the pics below for Pete in action.