Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Doors

Not the band, the chicken coop, of course. Jeremy has been making a lot of progress on the coop since I last reported. I'm particularly proud of the doors he just finished.

Remember the dirty old doors from the basement? Here they are on the hen house:

Here are the doors into the nest boxes, where we'll sneak the eggs out:

And here are the beautiful dutch doors into the run:

Since we're moving we have to do the whole small animal permit all over with our new neighbors. Jeremy made some rounds a month ago to sound people out and we've been going around the last couple days with the actual form collecting signatures.

We're getting many more interesting responses this time than the first time around. One neighbor is a doctor and he was concerned about diseases and the safety of having chickens. One woman had lived in the country and worried that were having too many animals in too small a space and we were being inhumane. Another man basically asked us if we had considered moving out to a farm! Some people just don't seem to think animals like this or perhaps even gardens belong in the city - that's for farmers out in the country. We explained to this man that we like to know where our food comes from, that it has a good life, and we also prefer to be in the city.

Many other neighbors have been ecstatically excited about us having chickens and many (even some naysayers) have asked if they could get eggs! We are having some difficulty getting signatures from one family where most of them only speak Spanish. Jeremy and I both speak a little Spanish, but not quite enough for this situation. We tried speaking with a woman tonight (the grandmother) but I think we ended up asking her if her grandmothers were around and if it was okay for us to have cooked chicken in our house...and perhaps some roosters or beer...I'm not sure what we said. We eventually said sorry and thanks and we'll have to come back when her grandchildren are home to translate for us.

I have a feeling we may have some more interesting discussions as the coop and chickens move in. It used to be that most people grew gardens, had chickens, and maybe other animals. But then we became "modern" and separated from our food. There are now children who have never seen a tomato growing on the vine or never seen carrots growing in the ground. There are people who don't understand where hamburger comes from!

I hear people say that they're too busy to garden, they don't know how, it's too difficult and time-consuming to can or preserve things - and thank goodness for the grocery store where they can buy everything ready made! We're more advanced now so we shouldn't have to toil and work to produce our food.
Well yes, making our own food is a lot of work. But it's also incredibly rewarding. And we are more advanced, but knowing how to grow food is still important. Perhaps we don't have time (or make time) because we work too many hours and we spend too many hours in front of the computer and the television. Things would be a lot different if people were out planting gardens and tending chickens instead of sitting in front of a screen.

[oh my, where did that soap box come from!?]


@bdul muHib said...

What a great way to meet up with your neighbors and get to know them and begin to build some community! You are asking them for help, and thereby putting yourself in a position to rely on them, letting them feel needed.

I agree about the farm bit in the city. I'm trying to gently push Erin towards the idea of getting a pot-belly pig. ;-)

Aimee said...

Yeah, it has been a great way to meet the neighbors. I'm sure some of them are tired of hearing from us - but others are really turning into friends.

Jeremy wants pigs...and rabbits and goats and bees and who knows what else! I think the neighbors will draw the line somewhere (as may I!)

@bdul muHib said...

But Aimee, pigs are the cleanest farm animals! They naturally go in one place, from birth, and all you've got to do is train them to go in that one place!t

Aimee said...

I knew they were clean, but I didn't realize they were potty trained too! That is something to keep in mind...