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Monday, October 25, 2010

Ft. Knox in Our Backyard

Yes, another post about chickens.  Did I mention my garden sucked wind this year?  4 itsy bitsy tomatoes, 3 of which stayed in our refrigerator and 1 of which actually got eaten.  By me, and it was darn good, too.  I think we got 3 or 4 zucchinis way back when, and everything else just withered and died.

Of course, that pretty much describes the chicken situation, too.  I sound flippant but it is actually heartbreaking to have one after another die.  The low point came when we lost Chiquita.  After that, we finally got serious about chicken yard security, and we have truly built a fortress in the back yard, complete with electric fence.  It takes about 15 minutes to put them away for the night, but honestly, the peace of mind is worth it.

No more wandering at will during the day, either.  They stay literally cooped up, unless we're working in the yard and can keep an eye out for hawks.

As Kim said, the overarching or philosophical lesson learned from all this is how truly difficult it is to grow your own food, whether it be animal or vegetable.  Not only is it hard physical labor, we have lost so much of the knowledge that was commonplace only a few generations ago.  I can state unequivocally that I would not be capable of the year-long experiment that Kingsolver did; I would quite literally die if I had to eat only what I grew.

1 comment:

Kim said...

A correction: Kingsolver limited herself and family to what was grown locally. While she did grow a lot of her own, she had a thriving farmstead of some acreage that had been worked by the family during the summers at least for some time. She did shop at the local farmer's market and accepted trade of local foods also. It's been a while since I read the book but I do think it's accurate to reflect that she was not starting a total ground zero to feed herself and her family.