Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Not so random thoughts

We were all wondering when the roosters would start cock-a-doodle-do-ing. I was of the school of thought that they had to be taught - and thus would give them some examples every time I passed by the coop. They are at about 9 weeks old and they have started fledgling efforts. I don't know if my efforts helped get them started, but ........

We are in the process of deciding whether to get goats (milk) or pigs (meat). We are starting to lean towards the pigs as the reward vs. effort ratio seems to be better than would be with the goats. We are also looking at rabbits.

Some people wonder why we are raising chickens, growing some food, etc. Why do all this work for eggs and chicken when they can be had at the grocery store? Below is a partial answer in no particular order of importance.

1. It is true that we probably are not saving much (if any) money by raising our own chickens for eggs and meat. But the eggs and meat will be fresher than the store bought variety. It may be better for you, and it may taste better.

2. Much more importantly than (1), we (and especially the children) will have a greater appreciation of where our daily bread comes from, and the effort it takes to provide it. Today there is a great disconnect between going to work and putting food on the table. Even our modest effort reconnects some of these lines.

3. The whole family becomes part of our economic life. We each have a job which has a real impact on the food Mrs. Curley prepares for dinner. The children are no longer just partakers of the wealth provided by Papa (through God's grace), but now help in a real way with the providing.

4. Growing vegetables, raising animals, caring for both is an education for the family.

5. The economic system in this country has become quite utilitarian - men are just tools for the good of other men or for business. Even our small effort of independence gives us a small level of economic freedom, and lights the way for others to go beyond what we are capable of. (Don't get me wrong, I am not a "get off the grid self-sufficient survivalist") .

6. There is more SKY. You can see the beauty of God's creation more often and more clearly when you work more closely with it and around it.

7. As the children learn more about nature's designs, they will learn more about God's plan in nature and for man.

More to come...

From the small holding in Bethune...

Oremus pro invicem!


Anonymous said...

I have (dairy) goats and chickens. It is fun, but it can get overwhelming if you don't have enough help. And you don't save money, really, at least in my experience. It *can* be worth it, though.

The goats, in particular, have been expensive for me. The milk is very good, though, if you get Nubians, and give the proper feed (a decent grass hay, and Purina Goat Chow). Don't get fancy and feed high-protein stuff like Timothy. It will give you a "goaty" taste in the milk.

B Knotts

Anonymous said...

Yummy...chicken from the backyard. I get that from the in-laws in the Philippines. Now that's fresh chicken!

Thomas Coolberth