Could we change our attitude, we should not only see life differently, but life itself would come to be different. ~ Katherine Mansfield

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Greener Acres

Remember way back to the beginning of this blog, when it was all about simplifying and starting a garden in the suburbs? I was so young. So naive. So unaware that a garden isn't simple and that it would lead me down an increasingly complicated path.

Gardening ignited a compulsion for cooking, and cooking fueled a kitchen-based addiction. My old-timey kitchenware proved to be a gateway appliance that led to a sewing machine. Making things with my hands lit a passion for all things Etsy and Organic and recycled. Which led back to the gardening, but on a more obsessive scale. Then life shifted in a surprising and wonderful direction, and we find ourselves living in the country with 5 acres and bees and chicks arriving in April.

Maybe I got in over my head.

Rachel, of the sage "ounces make pounds" advice from blogs gone by, reacted to this news by asking me if I knew that chickens pooped. A fair enough response from someone who knew me when I used to paint my nails on the weekends and wouldn't go to the grocery store without showering and spackling on a little makeup for show. But that girl is now 2 kids and 2 dogs deep and has dealt with her share of shit. And vomit. And various other messes that would have sent the college me running for the hills with a novel, a thermos of tea, and a picnic quilt in all its picturesque glory. Escapism at its best.

Back here in the real world I am more worried about not getting stung to death. I'm taking a few classes at Denver Urban Homesteading, which has me pretty excited. Honestly, I am in love with the term "Urban Homesteader." My pioneer roots start to throb and I feel the need to chop and cook something. (Truth told, I've got a pot of butternut squash soup in an enameled dutch oven on the stove right now.)

I've been stoking the fire with a bunch of great starter books that I recommend if you are having similar homestead cravings:

Chick Days: An Absolute Beginner's Guide to Raising Chickens from Hatching to Laying
Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer
The Bucolic Plague: How Two Manhattanites Became Gentlemen Farmers
The Dirty Life: A Memoir of Farming, Food, and Love
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life

These blogs are also pretty fun:

So, here goes nothing. Our future farmstead site is currently snow covered, but this time next year I'll be wading out into that mess to check the chickens and give sugar water to the bees. Yes, the stuff of Little House on the Prairie-style fantasy will shortly become my reality. I only hope that no one dies of dysentery or gets swept away when we ford that inevitable river...