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Our Chickens’ First Eggs And My Inner Farmer

August 2nd, 2009 by Alison · 1 Comment · entertainment, food & drink, home & garden, nature, sustainability

Our chickens have laid their first three eggs! Light brown, diminutive in size (like many beginning efforts), and delicious. These are the very first chickens we’ve ever3199626620_98face2b40 raised, the ones who were teensy chicks when I brought them home at the beginning of March, the ones we built the coop for with more clumsy  care than actual construction skills.

There at least three reasons I’m going to the trouble of raising my own chickens and eggs when I can buy eggs so inexpensively in the store.

One is that it’s fun. We’ve all got 168 hours in any given week, which after work, sleeping and eating still leaves a number of hours for other pursuits. We all make our choices. My household skips TV altogether because we find projects like raising chickens, fruits and vegetables -  urban farming, since we live in Portland — to be more fun and entertaining uses of our free time than TV shows.

The second reason is food security. I’m by nature an optimist, not a pessimist, yet even I am clear that we in the cities are at risk of food shortages if anything interrupts our country’s oil supply (and therefore the transportation system that delivers our food).

The third reason is the call of my instinctual inner farmer. I have a deep drive to work the land, to raise food and creatures. Our ‘inner everything’ has become word-play, a way to laugh at ourselves, and I like to laugh at myself as much as anyone. But keep in mind that my M.S. is in counseling psychology, and moreover, that we humans have been practicing agriculture for 50,000 years. I (and most of us) are descended from thousands of generations that survived by working the land and raising animals.

My chickens and their first three eggs are a living connection to the past, to my many ancestors who raised their own food. And they’re also a connection to the future, which will be increasingly oil- and carbon-constrained, and therefore more locally-based. As the popular author Barbara Kingsolver has pointed out, we need to know how to grow our own food.

photo courtesy of tripplehelix

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One Comment so far ↓

  • Crafty green poet

    oh how wonderfully exciting! I kept chickens when i lived in Malawi, loved getting fresh eggs like that….. It would be very complicated here, given our communal backgreen area with multiple ownerships not to mention loads of cats…. Though there is a wonderful example of urban chicken keeping in Edinburgh….

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