Friday, April 10, 2009

Farmer?

Hey, I am on a roll! 4 posts in four days!

When one buys a house with 8 acres of land and decides to attempt to grow a large portion of the food they need, possibly selling any surplus, you could call that person a farmer, right? Small scale farmer, for sure, but still a kind of farmer. I totally expected to get to the point where I call myself a farmer, after I had all the gardens and trees and all in and we were harvesting enough produce to need that farmstand at the end of the driveway.

Turns out I think I am getting a taste of a different kind of farmer, the animal raising kind. We now have in our care:
4 gerbils
2 cats
1 rabbit
and 6 chickens.

I went from caring for one cat who you rarely saw, to being the caretaker to thirteen creatures. Every day, we have to feed, water, clean up after, and give love and attention to them all. The girls have been great helpers, doing their share of the work, and pitching in to help me do the rest.

I am not complaining about the work. I am just starting to feel that my life has changed in a profound way. I am now a farmer. I am not yet getting anything much out of these animals, but I have to put in the time and effort anyway. Things like vacations will now require a big effort to make sure the animals are well cared for when we are out of town. The budget is impacted with the food and bedding needs of these animals.

Soon, we will get some fiber from Stella, and then the chickens will lay eggs for us. The cats already provide mouse population reduction duty, and the gerbils turn cardboard into compost carbon/brown inputs (and tiny amounts of poop!). There will be other animals in the future, too. A pig each year for the freezer sounds nice, C thinks a goat for milk would be good, and some chickens for meat could easily be added to the mix. And somewhere in there, we will be growing a significant percentage of our food. A few years from now, we might even make some money from all this farming!

Oh, I forgot to mention that all of the animals we have now are female, so with me and the girls, girls out rank boys in this household 16 to 1! Poor C. We told him we need to get a bull to balance things out! Maybe one of the chicks will grow up to be a rooster and he won't be so outnumbered. Of course, that rooster will have to go, so...

1 comment:

TheOrganicSister said...

you have such a good man to not feel threatened by all that estrogen!

i want land soooo bad. chickens, goats, rabbits, land.

~tara